The European Union faces another delay in deliveries of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.
Representatives of the pharmaceutical company have informed the European Union of possible production shortages for the second quarter, company representatives and EU officials told news agencies on Tuesday.
The vaccine maker said it would only be able to deliver half of the COVID-19 vaccines it had been contracted to supply to the EU in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters.
Media reports suggest second-quarter deliveries increased from 180 million to 90 million doses.
It comes weeks after AstraZeneca announced a drastic reduction in the number of strokes it would deliver to the OR in the first trimester.
This deficit could hamper EU plans to meet its goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by the end of the summer.
What did AstraZeneca say?
A spokesperson for the Anglo-Swedish company said AstraZeneca constantly reviews delivery schedules and informs the commission weekly.
She said they were working “incredibly hard” to improve the supply chain in the EU and also to take advantage of the global supply chain.
“We hope to be able to bring our deliveries closer to [the agreements] in the purchase contract, ”said the spokesperson for the dpa news agency.
Slow deliveries hamper vaccination campaigns
The EU has also seen bottlenecks in deliveries of injections developed by BioNtech-Pfizer and Moderna – the only other shots currently approved by the European medicines regulator.
AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine received EU approval at the end of January, while some states in the 27-member bloc are using vaccines developed in Russia and China.
A document from the German Ministry of Health from February 22 would show that AstraZeneca expects to fill all supply shortages by the end of September.
The document would suggest that Germany expects to receive 34 million doses in the third quarter, bringing the total to 56 million doses, which is its full share of the 300 million doses that AstraZeneca has contracted to supply the ‘EU.
dvv / rs (Reuters, dpa, TBEN)