News World EU seeks supply answers from AstraZeneca

EU seeks supply answers from AstraZeneca

The European Union wants swift action to be taken by drugmaker AstraZeneca to find a solution to supply issues of COVID-19 vaccine to the bloc, after it was announced there would be a massive shortfall during the first quarter of the year. Adam Reed reports.

 

The European Union has urged drug developer AstraZeneca on Monday (January 25) to find ways to swiftly deliver COVID-19 vaccines, after the company unexpectedly announced a large cut in supplies to the bloc during the first quarter of the year.

AstraZeneca told the EU on Friday (January 22) it could not meet agreed supply targets to the end of March, with an EU official involved in the talks telling Reuters that meant a 60% cut to 31 million doses.

The complications stem from supply chain issues within a proposed manufacturing site in Belgium, run by AstraZeneca‘s partner Novasep.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker received an up-front payment of 336 million euros from the EU for at least 300 million doses, according to three EU officials speaking to Reuters.

Eric Mamer is the EU Commission’s Chief Spokesman.

“The (European Commission) President (Ursula von der Leyen) spoke to the CEO of AstraZeneca this morning by phone, Mr. Pascal Soriot, and she made it clear that she expects AstraZeneca to deliver on the contractual arrangements foreseen in the advance purchasing agreement.”

AstraZeneca’s CEO Pascal Soriot explained how complicated the situation was from their point of view, when speaking at the World Economic Forum on Monday.

“We should remember that what we are trying to do collectively here has never been done in the history of the world, to develop a vaccine, or several vaccines in this instance, in a year. And then scale up to billions of doses when we know today the biggest manufacturer has only got a capacity of a billion doses per year across all their vaccines. So it’s a huge undertaking that has only been possible because we’ve collaborated.”

EU contracts with vaccine makers are confidential, but an EU official did not rule out penalties for AstraZeneca, given the large revision to its commitments.

This marks the latest vaccine-related frustration for the EU.

The version developed by Pfizer is currently the most used across the bloc, but earlier in January it also announced a delay in its supply.

AstraZeneca‘s vaccine is expected to be approved for use in the EU on January 29, with first deliveries expected from the middle of next month.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Nigerian schoolboys freed as forces search for 300 abducted girls

  Gunmen in Nigeria on Saturday released 27 teenage boys who were kidnapped from their school last week in the north-central state of Niger, while...

Evangelical churches in Cyprus express regret over Eurovision song

  The Union of Evangelical Churches in Cyprus has expressed regret over what it calls 'the unfortunate selection of the song 'The Devil', that will...

Police re-issue internet safety advice, following rise in sexual abuse cases

  Police have re-issued, with additional detail, a series of advice for parents on how to deal with the internet safety of their children, following...

133 fined and charged in covid checks, almost half in Limassol

  The city and district of Limassol recorded fifty three out of 133 individuals and businesses fined and charged for covid violations over the past...

Restaurant opens, two bday parties in Limassol

  As Limassol continues to face issues with its high covid positivity rates, authorities charged a restaurant owner yesterday for opening his business, in violation...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...