Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Pfizer and BioNTech announced Wednesday they will supply 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, if it's ultimately approved, to member states in the European Union.
The companies said the deal also gives the bloc an option for another 100 million doses of their BNT162b2 vaccine, which is in the final stage of human clinical trials and awaiting regulatory approvals.
"Today's finalized supply agreement with the European Commission represents the largest initial order of vaccine doses for Pfizer and BioNTech to date and a major step toward our shared goal of making a COVID-19 vaccine available to vulnerable populations," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
"This is the most promising vaccine so far," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen added. "Once this vaccine becomes available, our plan is to deploy it quickly, everywhere in Europe."
The contract is the fourth so far between the EU and pharmaceutical companies developing possible vaccines. The alliance also has agreements with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK and Johnson & Johnson and has explored similar arrangements with Moderna and CureVac.
"And more will come, because we need to have a broad portfolio of vaccines based on different technologies," von der Leyen added, noting that the EU has already begun working with member states to prepare vaccination campaigns.
"We are almost there," she said.
Pfizer said Monday that early data from its final-stage trial, which gave two doses of the vaccine to human volunteers, indicates it is effective in about 90% of patients.
Those who developed protection from the coronavirus, it noted, did so about 28 days after the first dose and a week after the second.