Another coronavirus vaccine manufacturer has warned of supply problems, frustrating the European Union’s efforts to distribute the stings.
The British drug manufacturer AstraZeneca said that the problem of production means that the initial quantities will be less than expected.
The European Commission has said it is trying to get more information.
This halts vaccination in some parts of Europe due to reduced deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
AstraZeneca, which developed its vaccine with Oxford University, revealed the situation in a statement, but gave little detail.
“Initial quantities will be less than originally expected due to reduced yields at the production site in our European supply chain,” it says.
Reuters quoted an unnamed EU official as saying the EU company said supplies would be reduced to 31 million – a 60 per cent reduction – in the number of doses it could give to the bloc in the first quarter of this year.
Unlike Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the Astra-Zeneca product has yet to be approved by the EU medicines regulator, although this is expected later this month.
AstraZeneca has signed an agreement with the EU to provide at least 300 million doses of its vaccine.
Austrian media reported that only 600,000 of the two million doses of AstraZeneca promised by the end of March will arrive in the country on time, and the remaining 1.4 million will be delivered in April.
The delay would be “completely unacceptable,” said Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober.
Threats to legal proceedings
As for Pfizer, the U.S. company said it needed to cut deliveries over the next few weeks as it worked to increase capacity at its Belgian processing plant. The EU has ordered 600 million doses from Pfizer.
Pfizer’s cuts forced Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, and several regions in Italy to suspend the first stab wounds. Vaccinations for medics in Madrid have also been stopped.
Italy and Poland have threatened to take legal action in response to the vaccine cut.
Meanwhile, cases in many European countries are growing. Germany has reached 50,000 deaths in Covid, and Spain has recorded record infections in recent weeks.
The Hungarian government, which complained about the slow approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by the EU, reached an agreement with Russia to buy large quantities of Sputnik V vaccine, although it did not receive EU approval.
Across Europe, the health situation remains very serious.
There is reason for hope with vaccines. And a cause for concern about virus versions.
We need to stay focused and determined in our response. pic.twitter.com/AvaL1XBtuf
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 22, 2021
How delays with vaccines hit Europe
Italy it is said that it expects a 20 percent reduction in Pfizer-BioNTech next week – a drop of 29 percent has already been recorded this week – and Rome is considering legal action. Some Italian regions recorded a 60 percent drop in doses.
Germany, where BioNTech is headquartered, several states have struggled with vaccine deliveries. North Rhine-Westphalia, in the west, stopped Tuesdays in hospitals on Tuesday and stopped the first vaccinations in nursing homes as well. The second vaccination continues, but special centers for those over 80 will not be open until next month.
Authorities in and around The capital of Spain is Madrid they temporarily stopped vaccinating medical staff this week, saying they had received only half the doses they expected. The national government determines the distribution until Pfizer’s deliveries improve. Spain reported a record 44,357 cases in one day on Thursday.
Romania he warned that his vaccine supplies could be reduced to almost zero by the end of the first week of February. The Czech the government warned that the reduction in distribution had created “huge complications”.
Poland, which began vaccinating health workers and moved into nursing homes this week, saw a 50 percent drop in the number of vaccines delivered this week. Ministers say they were promised normal service by mid-February. If that is not the case, Warsaw says it will consider a legal lawsuit.
France requires a negative arrival test
EU leaders agreed late Thursday to keep their internal borders open, but warned that a restriction on non-essential travel may be needed to curb the spread of the virus.
France has announced it will introduce stricter travel restrictions for European arrivals from Sunday night, requiring a negative PCR test within three days of travel. Health Minister Olivier Véran has urged people to stop using homemade cloth masks – health officials recommend wearing medical masks instead.
Belgium is to ban irrelevant travel to Belgian residents from late January to March 1, except for people living in border shopping areas. Anyone who makes a “necessary” trip lasting more than 48 hours will need to isolate themselves and do two Covid tests upon return.
Denmark, meanwhile, is suspending flights from the UAE for five days due to a tip suggesting pre-flight tests are unreliable. Denmark requires all air passengers to take the tests within 24 hours before the flight.
Total number German The number of deaths in Covid rose above 50,000 on Friday, but the number of infections has dropped in the past week. Leading virologist Christian Drosten warned Germans that as more and more people are vaccinated, the pressure to reduce restrictions will increase. “Then we won’t talk about 20,000 or 30,000 infections a day, but in the worst case, 100,000,” he said Spiegel magazine.