BERLIN / BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) – The pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca is initially delivering less corona vaccine to the EU than planned. If Astrazeneca receives EU approval, the amount will be lower at the beginning, said a spokeswoman for the British-Swedish company on Friday when asked. The reason is lower production at one location in the European supply chain.
According to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, the company announced the delivery problems on Friday in the steering committee for the EU vaccination strategy. The EU Commission and member states have expressed deep dissatisfaction that less vaccine should be delivered in the first quarter than planned, Kyriakides said in the evening.
It was insisted that there was a precise delivery schedule on the basis of which Member States could plan their vaccination programs. The EU Commission will continue to urge more reliability in deliveries and accelerated distribution of the cans.
The “Bild” newspaper initially reported on the problems at Astrazeneca. As “Bild” reported, the vaccine has to be adapted after the mutations in some countries. Vaccine quantities already produced on stockpile may therefore not be able to be delivered. In addition, the effects on production after a fire in a plant in India are not yet clear.
A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health said on request: “We continue to assume that Astrazeneca’s vaccine will be approved for the EU at the end of next week. The EU has invested a lot in the pre-production of this vaccine. After approval, it will be clear how much vaccine will be when is also available for Germany. “
Astrazeneca developed the vaccine together with Oxford University in the UK. It is already in use in the UK. Approval in the European Union is also expected for the coming week.
This week there was already a supply bottleneck for vaccine manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer. The background to this was rebuilding in a Pfizer bottling plant in Belgium. In several EU countries there had been great resentment because vaccination plans had to be changed./vsr/DP/men