Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands have penned down a contract with the Astrazeneca for supplying the European citizens with a vaccine against the coronavirus or COVID-19, health minister of Italy mentioned on Saturday.

The contract is for 400 million doses of the vaccine, which was developed with the University of Oxford and whose experimentation phase is already advanced and expected to end in autumn, Roberto Speranza said in a Facebook post.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Coronavirus Vaccine
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He added that a first batch of doses would be made available by the end of this year. The European Commission received a mandate from EU governments on Friday to negotiate advance purchases of promising coronavirus vaccines, the EU's top health official said, but it was unclear whether there would be enough money available.

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times claiming the lives of more than 426,000 people globally and infected over 7.6 million people in more than 170 nations.

(With agency inputs)