THE European Commission has agreed to buy 250 million doses of Spain’s Hipra Covid-19 vaccine despite the European Medicines Agency(EMA) yet to formally approve its use.

14 countries will get shots produced by the Girona-based pharmaceutical firm once the likely green light is given by the EMA.

Hipra says its protein-based vaccine will act as a good alternative to existing MRNA products from Pfizer and Moderna with a ‘more sustained performance over time’.

Clinical trials have shown it to be very effective in producing antibodies against a range of Omicron variants, which are the dominant strains of the coronavirus.

Further trials are still taking place focusing on the effectiveness of Hipra as a fourth booster dose.

EU Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said: “With Covid-19 infections on the rise in Europe, we need to ensure maximum preparedness as we head into the autumn and winter months.”

“The Hipra vaccine adds yet another option to complement our broad vaccine portfolio,” added Kyriakides.

Last month, Spain’s Health Minister, Carolina Darias, said that subject to EMA approval, she wanted the Hipra vaccine to be available ‘as soon as possible’.

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