dpa/GNA – The European Commission has struck a deal with US pharmaceutical giant Moderna to buy up to 300 million additional doses of their Covid-19 vaccine, President Ursula von der Leyen announced.

According to the EU executive, which negotiates contracts with vaccine producers on behalf of the 27 member states, the deal provides 150 million doses this year and an option to snap up another 150 million doses in 2022.

Approved in early January, Moderna’s drug was the second of three to be green-lighted for use in the EU. The commission’s first order for 160 million doses of vaccine, which requires two shots for inoculation, was made in November.

Like the drug made by fellow producer Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna’s shot offers a high level of protection against the deadly respiratory disease: Clinical trials showed over 90-per-cent efficacy.

It is easier to handle than Pfizer/BioNTech’s shot, but still much more complex to transport and more expensive than the third EU-approved jab, made by AstraZeneca.

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