AstraZeneca warns of COVID-19 vaccine deficit in Europe

25 Janvier, 2021, 08:15 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Italy to take countermeasures following COVID-19 vaccine delays

However, given logistical challenges and the slow rollout of vaccines in the European Union so far, he said "it will be difficult" to meet the aim of the EU's executive Commission of vaccinating 70% of the adult population by the end of the summer.

Earlier Sunday, European Council President Charles Michel also threatened the pharmaceutical companies with possible legal consequences if they do not fulfill their vaccine contracts. The European Medicines Agency is scheduled to review the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday. On Friday, AstraZeneca said initial deliveries to the region will fall short because of a production problem. However, he said that the bloc expects more transparency on why these delays are occurring.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin also said that vaccinations for people over the age of 70 may be delayed as a result.

Now "AstraZeneca says it will be half, instead of 1.5 million there will be 650,000", he said, calling it "very bad news" while conceding that there can be production problems given the complicated process.

The delay to the first batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine was met with "deep dissatisfaction" but the European Commission and EU member states alike.

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On Saturday Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the delays in vaccine supplies were "unacceptable" and amounted to a serious breach of contractual obligations, adding that Italy would use all available legal tools.

Some government officials however sought to reassure their countries - tired and battered by months of the pandemic and already on edge over slow vaccination rollouts.

The EU has not yet given the go-ahead to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Pfizer's vaccination deliveries to Italy were 29% lower this week and would be down 20% next week, though they should return to agreed levels from February 1, Locatelli said.

"The 20-percent reduction in Pfizer vaccine supplies is not an estimation, but a sad certainty", he said, adding that Italians' health was not "negotiable".

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