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AstraZeneca reduces initial COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to the EU

Deliveries in the first quarter have been cut by 60%

AstraZeneca (AZ) has notified the EU that it will reduce initial deliveries of its Oxford-partnered COVID-19 vaccine by 60% in the first quarter of 2021.

AZ now aims to deliver 31 million doses to the EU in Q1. A senior official told Reuters that the reduction in anticipated deliveries is due to production problems.

Previously, around 80 million doses of the AZ/Oxford University vaccine were expected to be delivered by the end of March.

The British drugmaker also agreed to deliver over 80 million doses of the vaccine in the second quarter, although an EU official told Reuters last week that AZ was not able to provide an update for delivery targets in this period because of the production issues.

The European Commission (EC) reached an agreement with AZ in August 2020 for up to 400 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Initial volumes will be lower than originally anticipated due to reduced yields at a manufacturing site within our European supply chain,” said an AZ spokesman.

“We will be supplying tens of millions of doses in February and March to the European Union, as we continue to ramp up production volumes,” he added.

Earlier this month, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) received AZ/Oxford University’s application for conditional marketing authorisation of their COVID-19 vaccine.

The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) will meet on 29 January to review all data submitted by AZ regarding the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

The news that AZ has reduced the planned deliveries for its vaccine follows reports that Pfizer/BioNTech will also reduce EU supplies of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer said in a statement that shipments of the vaccine doses were being impacted by changes made to its manufacturing processes. The changes are part of a new production capacity goal.

BioNTech recently increased the production capacity for the Pfizer-partnered COVID-19 vaccine, announcing that it now aims to deliver up to two billion doses of the vaccine this year.

“Although this [increase] will temporarily impact shipments in late January to early February, it will provide a significant increase in doses available for patients in late February and March,” BioNTech added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

25th January 2021

From: Sales

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