AstraZeneca defends slow supplies to the EU, but says it ordered 3 months later than the U.Ok.

Pascal Soriot, chief government officer of AstraZeneca.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

AstraZeneca‘s CEO Pascal Soriot has defended its delayed rollout of the coronavirus vaccine to the EU, saying the drugmaker is “working 24/7” to repair manufacturing points. He additionally famous that the EU had ordered three months later than the U.Ok., nevertheless, and this meant it was behind in coping with provide points.

The EU has reacted angrily to a delay in AstraZeneca’s provide of coronavirus vaccine, which is anticipated to be accredited by the European medicines regulator by the finish of the week, to the bloc.

The 27-member bloc was anticipating round 80 million doses of the jab by the finish of March, but now will reportedly obtain solely round 31 million doses. As member states battle to entry vaccine supplies and rollout jabs, the EU has mentioned it might restrict exports of Covid-19 vaccines made in the EU.

Speaking to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Soriot mentioned that delays in the provide of its coronavirus vaccine have been attributable to a wide range of manufacturing points.

“We believe we’ve sorted out those issues, but we are basically two months behind where we wanted to be,” he mentioned

The British-Swedish drugmaker had additionally skilled “teething issues like this in the U.K. supply chain,” Soriot famous, but as the U.Ok. contract was signed three months earlier than the European vaccine deal, the firm “had an extra three months to fix all the glitches we experienced.”

However, he mentioned AstraZeneca nonetheless deliberate on delivering a superb bulk of the vaccines promised to the EU in February. “But, you know, if we deliver in February what we are planning to deliver, it’s not a small volume. We are planning to deliver millions of doses to Europe, it is not small,” he told the newspaper.

A Brazilian doctor voluntarily receives an injection as part of phase 3 trials of a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, in July 2020.

Nelson Almeida | AFP | Getty Images

Asked what amount the EU could expect to receive, Soriot said that as soon as the vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), “we can be transport a minimum of 3 million doses instantly to Europe, then we’ll have one other cargo a few week later after which the third or fourth week of February. And the goal is to ship 17 million doses by February.”

“It’s inferior to we want to, but it’s actually it’s not so unhealthy,” he said. Globally, Soriot said production capacity would be 100 million doses from February onward.

Anger in the EU

Scaling-up and production issues

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