The European Union (EU) is in negotiations with US drugmaker Moderna to secure a new Covid-19 vaccine procurement deal. This is due to concerns about a surge in coronavirus infections in EU member states. At least eight EU countries have expressed interest in participating in the new supply deal, which specifically covers messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines. BioNTech/Pfizer already has a multiyear deal with the EU for mRNA jabs. The proposed contract with Moderna would provide vaccines until 2026, allowing national health authorities to select the appropriate vaccine formulations each season. This is crucial as vaccine makers update their jabs to combat highly mutated subvariants such as the Omicron strain.
Moderna believes that such an agreement would be the quickest way to procure Covid-19 vaccines for use by member states. The company’s updated Covid vaccine has been approved for use in the EU and is ready to be supplied. The price per jab is likely to be finalized in negotiations, with discussions suggesting approximately €25 per dose. This price is consistent with previous jabs and reflects the higher efficacy rates of Moderna and Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines compared to cheaper alternatives from Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. The EU’s previous supply agreement with Moderna expired in August 2021, and the proposed deal would provide an alternative to the near-monopoly status of Pfizer in EU vaccine supplies.
Overall, the negotiations between the EU and Moderna aim to secure a supply of Covid-19 vaccines until 2026, offering EU member states a diversified vaccine portfolio. This deal would complement the existing agreement with BioNTech/Pfizer and help address concerns about rising coronavirus infections. The contract’s flexibility allows national health authorities to select suitable vaccine formulations based on seasonal needs and emerging variants like Omicron. Additionally, the potential agreement with Moderna presents an opportunity to reduce Pfizer’s monopoly in EU vaccine supplies. However, the final price per dose and additional details of the contract are still subject to negotiation.