Immunisation against COVID-19 in the EU could start in January if all elements of the bloc’s deal with British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca fall into place, Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said on Tuesday.
The European Commission announced last week that it had signed a deal for the EU-wide supply of up to 400 million doses of the potential vaccine, which is currently being tested in clinical trials.
The target of early next year hinges on whether the companies involved can fulfill their commitments, Anschober said at a news conference in Vienna.
“The second condition is that market approval is granted in time,” he added.
The EU executive body in Brussels does not place all its bets on AstraZeneca, but is also negotiating with other companies racing to develop a vaccine, including Sanofi, GSK, Johnson&Johnson, Curevac and Moderna.
Under the EU deal with AstraZeneca, Austria would get around 600,000 doses to immunise 300,000 people.