EU Commission expresses ‘deep dissatisfaction’ as AstraZaneca announce significant vaccine delay

Henrietta Brewer
January 23, 2021

The EU expected to receive 80m doses of the AstraZeneca jab before the end of March 2021, 600,000 of which were due to be delivered to Ireland.

He continued: "The reason this is significant is that many countries had been quite excited for the AstraZeneca vaccine because it's much more easy to distribute, it doesn't need to be held at super-low temperatures".

It was not clear how many doses AstraZeneca had initially been expected to deliver to the 27-country bloc.

Hungary are not the first country to break away from the European Union program as Denmark carried out separate negotiations with Pfizer/BioNTech to receive more vaccines in the initial batches.

It was announced last night that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine supply will be cut by 60% in the European Union for the first quarter of this year.

'The EU Commission and Member States expressed deep dissatisfaction with this.

The reduced deliveries are due to production problems at a vaccine factory in Belgium run by the pharma giant's partner firm, Novasep.

The research team that developed vaccines from Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc is now reconfiguring their technology to produce potent doses of vaccine against emerging mutations from the UK, South Africa, Brazil, among others.

Senior doctors are calling on England's chief medical officer to halve the gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

A delay would be "completely unacceptable", Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said on Friday.

Seychelles started rolling out its vaccination programme on January 10 with the Sinopharm vaccine, administering the first doses to leaders and essential workers with roll-out to general public planned for next week.

As for Pfizer, the United States firm said it had to cut shipments for the next few weeks while it worked to increase capacity at its Belgian processing plant.

Early December, King Mohammed VI had given his high instructions to the Government to adopt free vaccine against the COVID-19 for the benefit of all Moroccans.

Ireland has signed an agreement to receive 3.3m doses of the vaccine, and it was hoped this would be used to vaccinate over one million people through Global Positioning System and pharmacies.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Mr Michel both say they are still aiming for the target of 70% of the EU population being vaccinated by summer.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus this week described the unequal access poor countries had to COVID-19 vaccines as a "catastrophic moral failure".

Other reports by iNewsToday