AstraZeneca plc AZN on Saturday said it had reached an agreement with Europe's Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA) to supply 400 million doses of its novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines by the end of the year.
The IVA is a group of four countries, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Italy, that was created earlier this year to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines become widely available in the countries where they are approved.
"This agreement will ensure that hundreds of millions of Europeans have access to Oxford University's vaccine following approval," AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said in a statement.
"With our European supply chain due to begin production soon, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly. I would like to thank the governments of Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands for their commitment and swift response."
Why It Matters
The British-Swedish pharmaceutical company has struck similar supply deals with other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed in partnership with Oxford University.
AstraZeneca said it had also signed a licensing agreement with Serum Institute of India to supply 1 billion doses in middle- and low-income countries.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci earlier this month told Stat that the company's vaccine candidate seems to be effective against developing severe diseases from catching the coronavirus, rather than preventing the infection of the virus itself.
AstraZeneca Price Action
AstraZeneca shares closed about 0.2% lower at $51.47 on Friday. The shares traded 0.6% higher in the after-hours session at $51.78.
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