The European Union is considering no longer ordering new corona vaccines from pharmaceutical AstraZeneca. The European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said this to the French news channel BFMTV on Sunday. He denounces the repeated delayed deliveries of the British-Swedish vaccine maker.
According to Breton, the European Union had ordered 120 million doses for the first quarter of this year, but only a quarter of them have been delivered. According to Breton, this has caused the problems “that everyone has been able to see”. 180 million doses were ordered in the second quarter.
The European Commissioner hinted that the contract with the pharmaceutical company, which expires on June 30, may not be renewed. He emphasized that nothing is final and that discussions are still ongoing.
The slow deliveries have been a thorn in the side of European countries for some time. For Italy was enough last month when it turned out that the country would receive less than 10 percent of the promised corona vaccines from the British-Swedish company in the first quarter. The Italian government therefore blocked the export of a batch of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines destined for Australia. It was the first time that this weapon was used.
According to the European Commissioner, any decision to terminate the contract will not be taken due to the extremely rare side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Because of these side effects, the corona vaccine is no longer given to people aged up to 60 years as a precaution.
People between the ages of 60 and 65 will still receive the vaccine. In that age group, fewer people are affected by the blood problems that sometimes occur and they are much more at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
In principle, people over the age of 65 are offered the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. If doses of AstraZeneca are left, GPs may also be able to offer them to people over 65.