By CAPosts 22 January, 2021 - 02:14pm 36 views
Vaccination campaigns in Europe suffered a setback this Friday. AstraZeneca will not be able to meet the vaccine volumes initially agreed upon with the European Commission, due to a drop in performance at one of its manufacturing plants. "Initial volumes will be lower than initially anticipated due to lower throughput at manufacturing plants within our European supply chain," a spokesman for the drugmaker said in a statement, declining to give further details. The European bloc has an agreement to buy at least 300 million doses from the company that developed the vaccine in conjunction with the University of Oxford.
© AP Pfizer and BioNTech will contribute 40 million to poor countries
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The European Commission told Reuters that AstraZeneca informed the EU's vaccine supply board about the change in the delivery schedule and was trying to access more details from the drug company. A spokeswoman for AstraZeneca explained to AFP that "although there is no set deadline for the start of shipments of the vaccine, if it receives approval in Europe, the initial volumes will be lower than originally planned." The European Union vaccination campaign had already been affected by a temporary reduction in the supply of the doses of Pfizer and BioNTech, due to an adaptation that the pharmaceutical company will carry out in one of its plants in Belgium. Despite negotiations, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not approved the AstraZeneca vaccine and the University of Oxford. Approval from European regulators is expected later this month. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pfizer laboratory announced on Friday an agreement to provide 40 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for the poorest countries, through the Covax system. "I am proud to announce that Covax has signed an agreement with Pfizer / BioNTech for 40 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, Switzerland. The doses of the vaccine - with an efficacy of 95% - will be supplied "at cost price" and should be delivered in the first quarter, said the head of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, during a WHO press conference. The Covax system, put in place to try to allow a fair distribution of vaccines, aims to get enough vaccines this year for the 20% of the most vulnerable population in all countries, rich or poor. With the agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech, the WHO has already added agreements with manufacturers for 2 billion doses.