The European Commission has secured a supply deal with BioNTech and Pfizer for 300 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

This includes an initial order for 200 million doses for all EU Member States, as well as an additional option to purchase another 100 million doses of the vaccine if it is proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.

Earlier this week, BioNTech and Pfizer released early data from a phase III trial of their vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, which suggested that the shot is over 90% effective.

The phase III trial of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate involved 43,538 individuals, who received two doses of the vaccine or a placebo.

The companies said that their vaccine achieved an efficacy rate of over 90% seven days after receiving the second dose.

Within the trial, 94 participants developed the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. The trial is continuing to enrol participants and is set to reach the final analysis when a total of 164 COVID-19 cases have occurred.

“In the wake of Monday's (9 November) promising announcement by BioNTech and Pfizer on the prospects for their vaccine, I'm very happy to announce today's (11 November) agreement with the European company BioNTech and Pfizer to purchase 300 million doses of the vaccine,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

“With this fourth contract we are now consolidating an extremely solid vaccine candidate portfolio, most of them in advanced trials phase. Once authorised, they will be quickly deployed and bring us closer to a sustainable solution of the pandemic,” she added.

The EU has previously signed contracts for COVID-19 vaccine with AstraZeneca, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline and Janssen.

The Commission has also finished ‘successful’ exploratory talks with CureVac and Moderna.