AstraZeneca expects to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply the European Union in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday.
The expected shortfall, which has not previously been reported, comes after a big reduction in supplies in the first quarter and could hit the EU’s ability to meet its target of vaccinating 70 percent of adults by the summer.
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The EU official, who is directly involved in talks with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, said the company had told the bloc during internal meetings that it “would deliver less than 90 million doses in the second quarter.”
AstraZeneca’s contract with the EU, which was leaked last week, showed the company had committed to delivering 180 million doses to the 27-nation bloc in the second quarter.
“Because we are working incredibly hard to increase the productivity of our EU supply chain, and doing everything possible to make use of our global supply chain, we are hopeful that we will be able to bring our deliveries closer in line with the advance purchase agreement,” a spokesman for AstraZeneca said, declining to comment on specific figures…