European Commission seals deal with Pfizer for 10 million vaccine doses

A bottle of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is pictured as the first batch is being defrosted at the Gasthuisberg hospital in Leuven, Belgium

The European Commission says it has sealed a deal with Pfizer to speed up the dispatching of 10 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine over the next three months.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen says speeding up the pace of deliveries across the 27-nation bloc would bring the total number of Pfizer doses in the second quarter to over 200 million.

“This is very good news,” Von der Leyen says. “It gives member states room to maneuver and possibly fill gaps in deliveries.”

The announcement comes amid a shortage of vaccine supplies in Europe and as a growing number of European countries — including now Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and Spain — have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine after some recipients had blood clots. The company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame for the blood clots.

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