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To combat the Omicron strain, the EU will offer 20 million additional vaccination doses.
The European Commission announced last Sunday that member states of the European Union (EU) will get an additional 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the first three months of next year to help speed up the fight against the fast-spreading Omicron form.
In a statement, the Commission said, “The Commission has today agreed with BioNTech-Pfizer to hasten the distribution of their mRNA vaccine to member states, beginning in a few weeks.”
In January, five million doses will be provided, followed by another five million doses in February, and a final ten million doses in March.
These doses are in addition to BioNTech-previously Pfizer’s announced 195 million doses, bringing the total number of doses delivered in the first quarter to 215 million.
The news follows the European Commission’s declaration on Thursday that Moderna had agreed to speed up supply of its mRNA vaccine to EU members.
“In light of the deteriorating epidemiological situation in the European Union in recent months,” the EU’s executive arm said, “full vaccination and the roll-out of boosters remains one of the EU’s top health objectives.”
For the second time, Europe is the epicenter of the coronavirus illness 2019 (Covid-19), and it is preparing for a fresh wave of the pandemic.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 529 additional Omicron cases were reported in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) on December 16, bringing the total number of cases caused by the variation to 3,158.