Coronavirus latest news: Europe will not renew order for extra AstraZeneca vaccine doses
The European Commission has not renewed its order for AstraZeneca vaccines beyond June, amid legal disputes and a pivot towards the Pfizer jab.
According to the European Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, Europe will not order additional doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab moving forward. The European Commission could have triggered a clause for additional 100 million doses of the vaccine.
“We did not renew the order after June. We’ll see what happens,” said Breton, adding that it was “a very good vaccine”.
Such a move is not unexpected amid fraught relations. Last month the Commission launched legal action against AstraZeneca for not respecting its contract for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines and for not having a “reliable” plan to ensure timely deliveries.
And this week the bloc cemented its desire to use the Pfizer-BioNTech for the bulk of its rollout moving forward. Yesterday, the European Commission agreed to a massive contract extension for a potential 1.8 billion doses of the mRNA vaccine through 2023.
Meanwhile the head of the Oxford University vaccine group urged wealthy countries, including the UK, to share available vaccines with the rest of the world before pursuing plans to offer citizens booster shots.
“We’re facing an absolute calamity,” Prof Pollard told BBC, pointing to research which shows that around 30,000 people around the world will die from Covid-19 today alone.