EU and AstraZeneca seek to resolve vaccine supply crisis

The EU and the UK-based Covid vaccine maker AstraZeneca have vowed to work together to resolve a bitter row over supply shortages to the bloc, BBC reports.

AstraZeneca had agreed to deliver millions of doses in January-March but then said significantly fewer jabs would arrive on time. It blamed production problems at European plants.

The EU is demanding the firm divert jabs from the UK.

The UK government has said there "will be no interruption" to UK supply.

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said it was "critical" to make sure that the "schedule that has been agreed and on which our vaccine has been based goes ahead".

The EU signed a deal with AstraZeneca in August for 300 million doses, with an option for 100 million more, but the UK-Swedish company has reported production delays at plants in the Netherlands and Belgium.

AstraZeneca CEO Soriot said production was "basically two months behind where we wanted to be".

UK factories have not experienced problems.

On Thursday, scientific adviser to the UK government Sir Jeremy Farrar urged against vaccine nationalism, saying "it doesn't serve anybody to have these fights over vaccine supply".

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed with Oxford University, has not yet been approved by the EU, although this is expected on Friday.

The EU has been criticised for the slow rollout of inoculations for its population of around 450 million.


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