The European Commission is holding negotiations on behalf of the Member States for procurement procedures for COVID-19 vaccines and is presenting contracts to the Member States. In Belgium, the Advisory Committee responsible for the analysis of the procurement files issued a positive recommendation for Janssen's (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine candidate. The Interministerial Conference (IMC) for Public Health has followed the advice. Belgium will buy the vaccine if a marketing authorisation is granted.
In view of the current health crisis, many teams around the world are working simultaneously to develop a safe and effective vaccine of good quality as quickly as possible. The purpose of the European Commission's negotiations and the work of the Advisory Committee is to ensure that EU citizens, including the population of Belgium, and primarily the priority target groups, have access to a vaccine against COVID-19 as soon as one has been authorised.
In mid-August 2020, the Advisory Committee already issued a positive recommendation for the contract for the vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
The Advisory Committee has now issued a positive recommendation for Janssen's (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine candidate. The contract concerns the purchase of 200 million doses, which will be distributed according to population size. For Belgium, this would equate to about five million doses. Member States also have the option to purchase a further 200 million doses. The COVID-19 vaccine candidate is based on Janssen's (Johnson & Johnson) AdVac® technology, which is also used in Ebola vaccines. It is currently being studied in Phase 3 trials taking place in several countries.
This advisory procedure on procurement is independent of the granting of a marketing authorisation for a vaccine. This continues to fall under the remit of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in cooperation with the national competent authorities. If no marketing authorisation is granted by the EMA for the vaccine in question, the contract will be terminated. At present, the EMA has not yet granted any authorisation for a vaccine against COVID-19.
Vaccines against COVID-19