AstraZeneca, without waiting for the official certification of its COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union (EU) market, announced that the supply of the drug was more than halved. This was announced by the European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides on Friday, January 22.
“During today’s meeting of the health committee with the EU countries, AstraZeneca representatives announced upcoming delays in vaccine supply in the first quarter of 2021,” she wrote in Twitter…
During today’s Steering Committee with Member States on the #EUVaccinesStrategy, @AstraZeneca representatives announced delays in the delivery of vaccines compared to the forecast for the first quarter of this year. /one
– Stella Kyriakides (@SKyriakidesEU) January 22, 2021
A source at EU institutions told Reuters that AstraZeneca announced a 60% cut in supplies to the EU in the first quarter, to 31 million doses, while the contract with the European Commission for the pre-order of the vaccine of this company provided for the supply of 80 million doses to the EU by the end of March.
The manufacturer was not only unable to guarantee that the lack of doses would be compensated for in the second quarter, but in general to determine a clear delivery schedule for the first half of the year. AstraZeneca attributes this to production problems.
The European Commission (EC) and EU member states expressed “deep dissatisfaction” with this fact, stressing the need to accurately meet the delivery schedule, as states must fulfill their vaccination plans, said Stella Kyriakides.
According to the European Commissioner, the EC will continue to insist on the need to improve the stability of supplies.
On January 12, AstraZeneca applied for the registration of a coronavirus vaccine with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
It was reported that the procedure for evaluating the drug will be carried out in an accelerated mode. In accordance with it, a conclusion on permission to use the vaccine in the European Union can be issued until January 29.
Vaccination against COVID-19 in European countries began on December 27. To date, the EU countries have approved the use of Moderna and Pfizer / BioNtech vaccines.