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The European Commission has announced that, on behalf of EU countries, it has reached an agreement to amend the contract with Pfizer for the supply of covid vaccines. The amendments take account of the improved epidemic situation, the Commission said in a communication.

A reduction in the quantity of doses bought by States under the treaty is envisaged. It is envisaged that after payment of a fee, the initially agreed doses will be converted into "optional orders". The deadline for countries to receive vaccine supplies is extended to four years from now on.

The amendment was reached after negotiations between vaccine developers, EU countries and the Commission. It added that earlier amendments were introduced to the contract for the rescheduling of supplies and a central repository for vaccines was created.

An outflow from mandatory immunizations?

According to the European Commission, EU countries must maintain strategic stocks of the vaccines they need to protect vulnerable people and cope with the adverse development of the covid virus.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization lifted the state of emergency introduced with the onset of the disease and the declaration of a pandemic three years ago.