The EU activated the option of purchasing 150 million more COVID-19 jabs produced by the US pharmaceutical company Moderna, the European Commission spokesman said during a daily online press briefing on Tuesday.
These additional vaccines are planned to be delivered between the third quarter of this year and the end of 2022, said Stefan De Keersmaecker, adding that there will be a possibility to adapt it to the member states' individual needs depending on the epidemiological situation.
The member states will be also able to re-sell or donate doses to other countries, he noted.
The recent contract amendment allows the purchase of shots adapted to virus variants as well as jabs for pediatric use and booster vaccines, De Keersmaecker said.
The 27-nation bloc signed the second vaccine purchase agreement for 300 million doses with Moderna in February, with half of them already ordered.
In November 2020, it signed the first contract with the company to purchase 160 million jabs.
The EU, which has a population of 450 million, last year signed advanced purchase agreements with six vaccine producers -- Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, Johnson&Johnson, and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline -- to buy around 2.6 billion doses.
The bloc contributed financially to research and develop the jabs to receive the first treatments.
Following the spat in January, the EU also introduced an export control mechanism on vaccines produced in EU countries from February.