VILNIUS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania decided on Wednesday to purchase a possible vaccine against COVID-19 via the European Commission's (EC) joint procurement mechanism, the government said in a release.
It was also decided to diversify purchases from different manufacturers selected by the EC and with which the EC had already reached preliminary vaccine purchase and sale agreements.
"We will not take risks by guessing which of the companies currently leading in clinical trials will be the first to develop the vaccine," Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis was quoted as saying in the release.
"If we do that, we may be left without any vaccine, which would be a real tragedy for Lithuania."
He noted that the vaccine purchasing conditions are agreed on by the EC and chances to change them are very limited.
As of Sept. 17, there were 182 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 36 of them were in clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization. Several vaccines from the U.S., Britain, China, and Germany are in phase-3 trials.