Europe has gained the potential of being Pfizer’s biggest client so far. By the end of April, the company has sold more than sold 300 million doses to the United States.
The clamp of the pandemic has gone stronger but it has been breathing on Europe’s neck since February. Things were already moving south for the European Union’s vaccination campaign. It was badly affecting its top executive, Ursula von der Leyen.
This year has been insane for most of the countries. Specifically, Europe was hit hard by the coronavirus infection which led to severe lockdowns. People again started to die with insufficient treatments. On the other hand, the bloc couldn’t provide enough doses of vaccines after the fastest supplier, AstraZeneca, announced that it was facing production problems.
Often international critics and the European Union dissed at the role of von der Leyen’s leadership quality and how she might have manipulated the citizens to the core of the problem.
It has been over a month that von der Leyen has been pulling the strings by exchanging texts and calls with Albert Bourla, the chief executive of Pfizer. This can be an alternative way to save millions of lives because the company has the potential to supply mass vaccines. While the deal was made from the exchange of texts and calls, the European Union now can keep the worries at bay because Pfizer NSE -0.56 % can possibly provide enough doses of vaccine than ever before.
The critics must agree that personal diplomacy was the key to sanguine the deal. It is finalized this week and Europe is buying 1.8 billion doses from Pfizer.
von der Leyen said in an interview, “I am convinced that we are in this for the long haul,” after fixing the contract with Pfizer that mentioned securing a 900-million-dose order through 2023, moreover adding another 900 million vaccines if there’s a risk of infection.
Von der Leyen and Bourla first contacted in January when the previous vaccine supply company explained that they had to bring down their vaccine supply temporally. The European Union made an initial deal with the company to buy 200 million doses and more than 100 million according to the level of concern in the future.
In an interview, she said, “I knew that the upscaling of the deliveries would have a slow start by nature in the beginning, and, therefore, I also knew the first quarter was going to be tough,” she said. But, she added, “I did not expect it to be as tough, because we did not include the possibility that AstraZeneca would reduce deliveries by 75%. That was a heavy setback.”
“Multiple leaders of the world, they would reach out to me, from presidents or prime ministers and kings, and general secretaries of organizations,” Bourla said while finalizing the bond with von der Leyen. He said, “She knew details about the variants, she knew details about everything.”