Four EU countries have signed a contract with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce enough Oxford University vaccines to rid the continent of Covid-19 infections, the Italian health minister said.
Under the agreement, British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will produce up to 400 million doses of the vaccine, which is enough for “the whole population of Europe,” Roberto Speranza wrote on Facebook.
The minister said that trials for the vaccine, which was developed by Oxford University, are set to be completed this fall, and the first doses will be available by the end of the year. “The vaccine is the only definitive solution to Covid-19,” he wrote.
AstraZeneca has a deal with the US government to supply the country with 300 million doses of the vaccine. Earlier this week, the company signed an agreement with American firm Emergent BioSolutions to be its manufacturing partner in the US.
Various nations and companies have been racing to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 7.6 million people globally, and killed over 426,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.