Vaccine delays at AstraZeneca PLC may put EU citizens at extended risk from COVID-19.
With headquarters in Cambridge, England, the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company is blaming major production problems as an excuse for failing to deliver agreed orders to Europe.
But European Union officials are now threatening action unless they get the promised vaccine supplies. In a bold move, the EU commission announced this week:
"All companies producing vaccines against Covid-19 in the EU will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries. The European Union will take whatever action required to protect its citizen's rights," said Stella Kyriakides, EU commissioner for health.
This is a strong response from the EU! - What it really means is if they can't get enough vaccines manufactured outside the EU like the AstraZeneca one, they will have to hold and control vaccines produced in the EU block - like the Pfizer one which is made in Belgium.
Essentially this could impact the supply of the Pfizer vaccine into the UK.
"Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first COVID-19 vaccines," EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the World Economic Forum's virtual event in Switzerland. "And now, the companies must deliver. They must honour their obligations."