AstraZeneca expects to deliver half the doses of coronavaccines to the European Union in the second quarter than was agreed. Instead of 180 million doses, the 27 Member States receive less than 90 million, writes Reuters news agency.
The update follows the earlier large reduction in the delivery of Astrazeneca vaccines in the first quarter. The EUs target of vaccinating 70% of adults in the summer is therefore at risk, writes the news agency.
The Dutch Ministry of Health has also been told by the pharmaceutical company that there is less delivery in the second quarter. “They communicate a wide range of approximately 3 and 6 million doses for the Netherlands. We sat down at $4 million. That is, for the second quarter, a decrease from 6.8 million to 4 million.”
According to the Ministry, it is not yet to say what the consequences for the vaccination strategy are. Presumably, it will now have to be taken longer before the groups receiving this vaccine are fully vaccinated.
“To go crazy.”
Reuters report that AstraZeneca is halving deliveries to the EU in the spring caused irritation to Minister De Jonge this evening. “Astra is a very complicated company to meet steady appointments,” he said during the press conference with Prime Minister Rutte. “There will be changes in the delivery schedule at the assembly line. To go crazy. The deliveries ultimately determine the speed at which we vaccinate.”
The European countries have ordered at least 300 million doses from the Swedish-British pharmaceutical company. The Netherlands has an option for at least 12 million doses.
The Reuters source confirms that AstraZeneca will deliver only 40 million doses in the first quarter. The deal was 90 million. The company had already stated that it could not keep its first quarter promises related to production problems.
Minister De Jonge called that message “a thunderbolt from the clear skies”. He then said that the supply problem at AstraZeneca would lead to a lower rate of vaccination in the Netherlands.
In the third quarter, the Ministry expects to receive more doses; 6.2 million instead of 3.6 million.
Last quarter 2020
A delivery of 30 million doses in the last quarter of 2020 also failed because the vaccine had not yet been authorised in the EU.
Overall, this may mean that AstraZeneca delivered 130 million doses at the end of June, writes Reuters; much less than the 300 million agreed.