EU pushes for access to AstraZeneca vaccine from UK plants

AstraZeneca, which partnered with Britain’s Oxford University to develop its vaccine, said last week it would cut supplies to the EU in the first quarter, with an EU official saying that meant the EU would receive 31 million doses in the period, or 60% less than initially agreed, due to production issues at a Belgian factory.

Earlier, Kyriakides [EU health commisoner] told a news conference that two of the four factories from which AstraZeneca has committed to providing vaccines to the EU are in Britain.

Soriot [AstraZeneca chief executive] told newspapers on Tuesday the EU contract was based on a best-effort clause and did not commit the company to a specific timetable for deliveries.

AstraZeneca said on Wednesday that supply chains were developed with input from specific countries or international organisations and that each supply chain was dedicated to the relevant countries or regions, making use of local manufacturing where possible.

As an example of how the glitches are biting, delays in deliveries are forcing health authorities in Spain’s wealthiest regions of Madrid and Catalonia to restrict inoculations even as a third wave of contagion rages, officials said.