First EU citizens may be vaccinated against Covid-19 by December end

A vial of coronavirus vaccine

"I am happy to announce that today, we approved a new contract to secure another COVID-19 vaccine for Europeans", declared the Head of the European Commission.

"This is our sixth contract with a vaccine producer, and we are working on yet another one. 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", Ursula von der Leyen said.

The Sofia Globe's coverage of the Covid-19 situation is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

The deal with Moderna is the sixth supply deal the European Union has negotiated with COVID-19 vaccine makers and takes the total number of doses secured by the bloc to 1.96 billion for its population of around 450 million. The deals allow it to purchase over 1.2 billion doses, more than double the population of the bloc, which stands at around 460 million people.

"Member states must get ready now".

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Vaccine doses, from companies within Europe and from outside, will be temporarily stored in a refrigerated warehouse, and if necessary packed in dry ice, before they're shipped out by road, rail or air.

"That is the place that difference of opinions about legislative texts are usually settled, and that is not done at the expense of millions and millions of European citizens who are urgently waiting for our help", she said. "We are prepared, everything is done, tested".

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a statement at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium November 24, 2020. The pandemic situation remains serious, "with almost 3,000 deaths a day", von der Leyen admitted. "Hospitals remain under stress, and in some regions some intensive care units are overwhelmed", she said.

But von der Leyen told European Union lawmakers: "We must learn from the summer and not repeat the same mistakes, relaxing too fast".

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