The coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives severely. Many people are ill and have lost their jobs. And right now, many Europeans are worrying that they cannot see their families or their friends over Christmas.
While restrictive measures can slow down the spread of the virus in this very difficult situation, we all know that only a safe and effective vaccine will provide a lasting, a sustainable solution to this pandemic. Vaccination can help and is crucial to end the pandemic, that we overcome this virus. And here, I have today good news: I am happy to announce that tomorrow we will approve a new contract to secure another COVID-19 vaccine in our vaccine portfolio.
This contract allows us to buy up to 160 million doses of a vaccine produced by Moderna. According to the results of clinical trials, this vaccine could be highly effective against COVID-19. Once the vaccine is indeed proven as safe and effective, every Member State will receive it at the same time, on a pro-rata basis, at the same conditions.
With Moderna now, this is the sixth contract we have with a pharmaceutical company for our COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. We are working on yet another one. By this, we are setting up one of the most comprehensive COVID-19 vaccine portfolios in the world.
This provides Europeans access to the most promising future vaccines under development so far. Of course, all vaccines from our portfolio will be evaluated very carefully by our European Medicines Agency (EMA). They will only be authorised and placed on the market if they are safe and if they are effective. Transparency here is crucial and of utmost importance.
Securing rapidly vaccines for European citizens is one priority. But our other priority, at the same time, is to make sure that everyone has access to vaccines, everywhere in the world. It has to be an affordable and equitable distribution of the vaccines.
This is why we have raised, by pledging, EUR 16 billion since May for tests, treatments and diagnostics and vaccines against the coronavirus worldwide. And as Team Europe, we have contributed close to EUR 800 million to the COVAX Facility. The COVAX Facility is responsible through high-income countries donations – here the EUR 800 million by Team Europe – to make sure that low- and middle-income countries have access to the vaccines that are being produced now and in the future. The aim is to serve the world with these vaccines to end the pandemic.
We all know, we are all together in this.