PUURS, Belgium, April 23 (Reuters) - The European Union has sealed the world's biggest vaccine supply deal, agreeing to buy up to 1.8 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech 22UAy.DE, PFE.N, an EU official told Reuters on Friday.
The official did not give a timeline for delivery, but the European Commission has started talks recently to source vaccines for 2022 and 2023 to shore up long-term supplies.
The agreement would be enough to inoculate the 450 million EU population for the next two years.
This is the third contract agreed by the bloc with the two companies, which have already agreed to deliver 600 million doses of the two-shot vaccine this year under two previous contracts.
The deal is likely to stir the debate over inequitable access to shots for the world's poorest people.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Marine Strauss and Louise Heavens)
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