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Global COVID-19 vaccine race and related developments

The EU has concluded a deal with BioNTech/Pfizer for up to 1.8 billion extra doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says on Saturday.

“Happy to announce that the EU Commission has just approved a contract for guaranteed 900 million doses (+900 million options) with BioNTech/Pfizer for 2021-2023,” she tweets from an EU summit in Portugal.

“Other contracts and other vaccine technologies will follow,” she promises. — AFP

“The National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is chosen by the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelization in Vatican as one of the Marian Sanctuaries to participate in a marathon of prayer in the whole month of May to end the pandemic,” the Antipolo Cathedral said. (STAR/File)

Pope Francis offers his support Saturday for waiving coronavirus vaccine patents to boost supply to poorer countries, in a video message to the “Vax Live” concert.

The Argentine pontiff backs “universal access to the vaccine and the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights” in the recording made in his native Spanish.

Francis, who has repeatedly spoken of the need to share vaccines, condemns the “virus of individualism” that “makes us indifferent to the suffering of others.” — AFP


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