Germany confirms it will receive 16 million AZ doses in second quarter

Carla Harmon
February 26, 2021

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine.

AstraZeneca is still "working to increase productivity in its European Union supply chain", a spokesperson said via email, and plans to "make use of its global capability in order to achieve delivery of 180 million doses to the European Union in the second quarter".

A spokesman for the European Commission that coordinates talks with vaccine manufacturers refused to comment on the "confidential" discussions.

The expected shortfall, which has not previously been reported, follows a big reduction in supplies in the first quarter and could hit the EU's ability to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of adults by summer.

Health Canada has approved use of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca this morning, clearing the way for millions of more inoculations in Canada. The German newspaper Handelsblatt recently published a report, citing anonymous German health officials, that said AstraZeneca's vaccine was only 8% effective among older people.

AstraZeneca's vaccine was authorized in late January, and some European Union member states such as Hungary are also using COVID-19 shots developed in China and Russian Federation.

Responding to the worries of medical professionals who experienced mild flu-like side effects to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Fischer recommended taking paracetamol in parallel with the injection.

Last year, the drugmaker was on course to deliver 30 million doses in the last quarter, but delayed approval of its vaccine by Brussels disrupted those plans.

"This delivery is the first of many shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine expected over the coming weeks and months via COVAX that will take us closer to ensuring broad and equitable access".

Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, central England May 19, 2014.

The EU contracts stipulates that AstraZeneca will commit to its "best reasonable efforts" to deliver by a set timetable.

Asked if the company will deliver the expected 180 million doses in the contract for the second quarter of 2021, he said he is "confident" they can actually reach the volume originally communicated to the EU.

However, from the slides the Commission president Ursula von der Leyen presented to EU leaders during a virtual European Council on Thursday, it appeared clear that this target strongly relies on the "deliveries pending confirmation" in the Q2, of which AstraZeneca shots account for a lion's share.

The EU has also faced delays in deliveries of the vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as Moderna -the only vaccines approved for use by the EU's drug regulator.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has already been authorized in more than 50 countries.

Other reports by iNewsToday