Seeing a light at the end of a long tunnel, the EU head office is ordering “up to 300 million doses of the [Covid-19] vaccine developed by German company BioNTech and Pfizer.”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says: “This is the most promising vaccine so far. A safe and effective vaccine is our best chance to beat coronavirus and return to our normal lives.”

Once this vaccine becomes available, she added that the EU will quickly deploy it across the 27 EU nations. The contract with BioNTech and Pfizer is the European Commission’s fourth with a pharmaceutical company to buy vaccines.

“More will come,” adds Von der Leyen. “Because we need to have a broad portfolio of vaccines based on different technologies. We have already started working with [EU] member states to prepare national vaccination campaigns. We are almost there.”

The EU economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus in 2020. The EU has set aside €4.2 trillion in various financial relief packages for the 27 EU nations.

Its recently released autumn economic forecast report sees the economies of the 17 eurozone and 27 EU nations contracting by 7.8% and 7.4% respectively in 2020. It predicts the road back to normal will take at least two years.