European efforts to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines hit snag over price and payment methods

The logo of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi in Paris, France. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON

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European efforts to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson  are mired in wrangles over price, payment method and potential liability costs, three EU officials told Reuters.

The bloc is in talks with at least six vaccine makers to acquire up front doses of potential shots against the novel coronavirus, officials told Reuters earlier in July, in a strategy meant to increase the chances of having COVID-19 vaccines for its population.

Despite the urgency to seal deals amid a global race to secure the most promising shots, the EU is struggling to reach swift agreements, said the officials, who are involved in the talks, and declined to be named because the negotiations are confidential.

The United States, meanwhile, has already inked two supply agreements with AstraZeneca <AZN.L> and Pfizer among other major funding deals.

The EU’s negotiations with Johnson & Johnson are among the most advanced but have yet to conclude amid a back-and-forth over how to share liability costs if the potential vaccine showed unexpected side-effects, two of the officials told Reuters.

Johnson & Johnson had no immediate comment.

via Reuters

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