Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands sign contract with Astrazeneca for COVIDE vaccine

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ROME, June 13 (Reuters) – Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands have signed a contract with Astrazeneca to provide European citizens with a vaccine against coronavirus, Italy’s health minister said on Saturday.The contract covers 400 million doses of the vaccine, which was developed with the University of Oxford and whose testing phase is already advanced and is expected to be completed in the fall, Roberto Speranza said in a Facebook post.

He added that a first batch of doses would be available by the end of the year.

The European Commission received a mandate from EU governments on Friday to negotiate early purchases of promising vaccines against coronavirus, the EU’s top health official said, but it was unclear whether there would be enough money available. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Giulia Segreti; editing by John Stonestreet)

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