Spain buys 500,000 doses of new Sanofi-GSK Covid-19 vaccine

Spain buys 500,000 doses of new Sanofi-GSK Covid-19 vaccine
Spain buys doses of the new Sanofi/GSK Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP
The Spanish Health Ministry has authorised the purchase of 500,000 doses of the new Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sanofi/GSK, which will be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.

The Sanofi-GSK vaccine is a protein-based coronavirus vaccine, which hopes to get approval by the end of 2021. Late-stage trials began  in May of this year.

The new vaccine uses the same technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines and is coupled with a substance that acts as a booster, made by GSK.

On September 18th, 2020, the European Commission formalised an advance purchase agreement (APA) with the French company Sanofi and UK company Glaxosmithkline, who are working together to produce the vaccine.

The total order of all the EU Member States is estimated to be 72 million doses.

Although vaccination campaigns are progressing at a good pace in Spain and across the EU, the Commission maintains the European Strategy for the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19 for the years 2022-23, in order to prevent Member States from facing similar holdups and distribution issues experienced over the past eight months.

Spain and the EU want to be prepared to vaccinate the population who may not have been vaccinated yet (mainly minors), as well as to fight the consequences of emerging variants that may continue to pose a very serious threat to public health.

A large part of the world will remain unvaccinated, which only increases the possibility of emerging variants, making it necessary to have access to new Covid-19 vaccines.

READ ALSO: ‘There will be a third Covid vaccine for people in Spain’: Health Minister

Experts consider vaccines with messenger RNA to be more desirable, due to their proven efficacy and safety, as well as those based on proteins, such as the one from Sanofi / GSK, due to the expected safety, based on proven technology.

On June 18th 2020, the European Commission approved the decision to complete agreements for the acquisition of vaccines on behalf of the Member States, in order to monitor the development of vaccines, ensure transparency and distribution.

As a result of these Agreements, 8 APAs were formalised with the pharmaceutical companies Astrazeneca, Sanofi / GSK, Curevac, Janssen, Pfizer / BNT and Moderna, all of them before the authorisation of the vaccine, to allow the clinical trials to continue and manufacturing processes to begin.

Four of these Covid-19 vaccines obtained a marketing authorisation by the European Commission after a corresponding positive evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), while Sanofi/GSK and Curevac were still under the EU’s rolling review.

READ ALSO: Where in Spain can I get vaccinated against Covid-19 without an appointment?


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