Brussels: AstraZeneca expects to provide less than half of the COVID-19 vaccine contracted to supply the European Union in the second quarter, EU officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
The previously unreported expected shortfall is after a significant drop in supply in the first quarter, reaching the EU’s ability to vaccinate 70% of adults by summer. There is a possibility.
EU officials, who are directly involved in negotiations with a Swedish pharmaceutical company, told Brock at an internal meeting that they would “provide less than 90 million doses in the second quarter.”
AstraZeneca’s EU deal leaked last week shows that the company promised 180 million doses to blocks in 27 countries in the second quarter.
“We are working very hard to increase the productivity of our EU supply chain and we are doing everything we can to leverage our global supply chain, so we will bring deliveries closer in line with our pre-purchase agreement. I hope we can, “said an AstraZeneca spokesman, refusing to comment on certain numbers.
The European Commission, which coordinates consultations with vaccine makers, declined to comment on the numbers.
EU officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity confirmed that AstraZeneca plans to administer approximately 40 million doses in the first quarter. This is also less than half of the 90 million shots we plan to supply.
AstraZeneca warned the EU in January that production problems would fall below its first-quarter commitment. It was also scheduled for 30 million doses in the last quarter of 2020, but did not supply shots last year as the vaccine had not yet been approved by the EU.
Overall, AstraZeneca’s total supply to the EU could reach about 130 million by the end of June, well below the 300 million promised to provide to the block by then. ..
The EU is also facing delays in the delivery of vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and shots in Moderna. So far, these are the only vaccines approved for use by EU drug regulators.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved in late January, and some EU member states, such as Hungary, are also using COVID-19 shots developed in China and Russia.
Output boost downline?
Pharmaceutical companies have developed the COVID-19 vaccine at an alarming rate, but many are suffering from manufacturing delays due to complex manufacturing processes, limited facilities, and bottlenecks in the supply of vaccine components. I will.
AstraZeneca is expected to make up for all delivery shortfalls by the end of September, according to a German Ministry of Health document dated 22 February.
According to a document seen by Reuters, Germany received 34 million doses in the third quarter and plans to take a total of 56 million shots. This is consistent with AstraZeneca’s total share of the 300 million doses it plans to supply to the EU.
The German Ministry of Health could not get immediate comments.
If AstraZeneca increases production in the third quarter, the EU may help meet vaccination targets, but EU officials have not made it clear where the additional doses will come from, as Brock’s negotiators said they were wary. Supply volumes in the third quarter may be unrealistic, “he added, adding that delivery numbers have been changed many times by the company.
The EU contract stipulates that AstraZeneca promises “best reasonable efforts” to deliver on a set schedule.
“We are continually revising our delivery schedule and informing the European Commission of plans to bring more vaccines to Europe each week,” a spokeswoman for AstraZeneca said.
Under an EU contract leaked last week, AstraZeneca has promised to manufacture vaccines for blocks at two plants in the United Kingdom (one in Belgium and one in the Netherlands).
However, EU officials said the company is not currently exporting UK-made vaccines in line with a separate contract with the UK government.
AstraZeneca also told the EU that it has vaccine plants at other sites around the world and can offer more doses from its global supply chain, including India and the United States, EU officials told Reuters last week. It was.
Earlier this month, AstraZeneca said it plans to administer more than 200 million doses worldwide by April as it works to expand its global production capacity and productivity.
Officials say AstraZeneca will halve its EU vaccine supply target for the second quarter
Source link Officials say AstraZeneca will halve its EU vaccine supply target for the second quarter