EU blames AstraZeneca ‘failure’ for sluggish Covid vaccine rollout

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Sumary of EU blames AstraZeneca ‘failure’ for sluggish Covid vaccine rollout:

  • AstraZeneca has been squarely blamed by the EU for its comparatively slow Covid vaccine rollout after the bloc of 27 states failed to achieve its target to vaccinate 80% of older people by the end of March..
  • Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner with responsibility for vaccine supply and distribution, suggested the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company had been wholly at fault for a difficult and widely criticised start..
  • “If we had received the 100% of AstraZeneca vaccines that were contracted to us, the European Union would be at the same level today as Great Britain in terms of vaccines,”.
  • “In the first quarter, AstraZeneca delivered only a quarter of the doses we ordered, while the British received all of them, even though our contract was signed before them, in August 2020.”.
  • AstraZeneca, which is providing jabs on a not-for-profit basis, was only able to deliver 30m of the expected 120m doses expected by the EU in the first quarter of this year, largely due to a low yield in its plant in Belgium..
  • Contrary to Breton comments, UK officials said the company had also been unable to fulfil its commitments to the British government, with only a third of the due doses delivered..
  • The UK and the commission are in difficult negotiations over the fate of doses being produced in an AstraZeneca plant in the Netherlands..
  • Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), dated 5 April, suggests the median proportion of those aged 80 and above in the EU who had received a first jab was 59.8%, while 29.7% had been fully vaccinated among the 25 member states that had reported on their performance..
  • The commission had in January set a vaccination target for the bloc member states that said by the end of March 2021 at least 80% of people over the age of 80 – and the same proportion of health and social care professionals in every member state – should be vaccinated..
  • According to the ECDC data, 62.9% was the median percentage of healthcare workers that had been given a first vaccine jab among the 14 countries that have reported to the EU agency..
  • In Britain, the percentage of people vaccinated aged 80 years and over was 99.4% in England, 98.3% in Wales and 98.6% in Scotland by the week ending 20 March, according to the Office for National Statistics….

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