The European Union has signed a new deal with pharmaceuticals Pfizer and BioNTech on a delivery of 300 million vaccines, EC chairman Ursula von der Leyen reports Friday.

Some 75 million doses of the new order will be delivered in the first half of this year.

Initially, the EU ordered 200 million vaccine doses from pharmaceuticals, with an option for an additional 100 million doses.

That option was lifted just before the turn of the year.

Von der Leyen hinted at the time that "more deals" would follow between the EU and pharmaceuticals.

In total, EU countries will receive 600 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, doubling the original number.

Many countries have already started using the drug at the end of December, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the vaccine.

The Netherlands started using the Pfizer vaccine this week.

According to Von der Leyen, the safety of the vaccine has been demonstrated, making it justified to purchase additional doses.

4.65 billion euros was paid for the first delivery of 300 million doses, it is not clear whether the same price will be used for the new delivery.

The EU has previously concluded agreements with AstraZeneca (300 million doses), Sanofi-GSK (300 million), Johnson & Johnson (200 million) and Moderna (160 million).

The latter pharmaceutical's vaccine was approved this week.

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