EU wants vaccine contracts to include anti-variant clauses, EU chief

FILE PHOTO: Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends a news conference with European Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and European Parliament President David Sassoli (not pictured), in Brussels, Belgium February 12, 2021. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday the EU wants its COVID-19 vaccine contracts to include flexibility for virus variants.

This would allow the bloc to gain access to possible upgraded shots that may offer better protection against virus variants, as previously reported by Reuters.

“If we look forward and we assume that we will have to work on the vaccines to improve them or to bring them to the next level in order to have a vaccine that might fight effectively an upcoming variant we need of course a new contract,” von der Leyen told a news conference in Brussels.

“We have had good experiences with most of the manufacturers we have contracted with, so it is the natural way to continue within the framework we have had.”

Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine; Editing by John Chalmers