EU signs contract with AstraZeneca on supply of potential COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A sign at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, Britain, May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it had signed a contract on behalf of EU states with British drugmaker AstraZeneca for the supply of at least 300 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The move follows an advance purchase agreement signed by Brussels with AstraZeneca earlier in August.

It is the first contract signed by the EU with a maker of potential COVID-19 vaccines. The contract envisages an option to purchase 100 million additional doses to be distributed on a population-based pro-rata basis among the 27 EU states.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Hugh Lawson