The initiative is called COVAX and aims to purchase two billion doses by the end of 2021.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. August 27, 2020.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. August 27, 2020. (Francois Walschaerts / AP)

The European Commission has said it would contribute $476 million (400 million euros) to an initiative led by the World Health Organization to buy Covid-19 vaccines.

The initiative, dubbed COVAX, aims to purchase 2 billion doses by the end of 2021 of potential Covid-19 shots from several vaccine makers.

"Today, the Commission is announcing a 400 million euro contribution to COVAX for working together in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low and middle income countries," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

The EU Commission is negotiating advance purchases of Covid-19 vaccines with several drugmakers on behalf of the 27 EU states.

It has said in past weeks EU governments cannot buy vaccines through parallel procurement schemes.

The Commission added in a statement that it was ready, together with EU states, "to put expertise and resources at work within COVAX to accelerate and scale-up development and manufacturing of a global supply of vaccines for citizens across the world, in poor and rich countries."

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Source: Reuters