Photo: British people were vaccinated against AstraZeneca on the 25th. /Reuters
According to the guardian and the associated press, following Pfizer’s announcement of slowing down the supply of vaccines to the European Union, AstraZeneca, a British pharmaceutical company, also told the European Union that the delivery of vaccines in the first quarter of this year would be cut by 60% to 31 million doses from 80 million doses, angering the European Union and proposing to tighten the export control of vaccines as a counter measure.
On the 22nd, AstraZeneca suddenly said that due to the lower than expected initial production, it could only deliver 31 million doses of about 80 million doses of vaccine to the EU before the end of March. On the 25th, the president of the European Commission, Frederick von der lain, had a “heated dialogue” with the president of AstraZeneca;. Van der lain asked AstraZeneca to comply with the agreement and deliver on time, and stressed that the European Union has paid a large amount of money in advance to ensure vaccine production capacity.
EU health commissioner Kiriya kides said that AstraZeneca’s explanation was not detailed and convincing, and the two sides would hold a meeting again. The EU asked for detailed information on where and how many vaccines AstraZeneca has produced so far, whether they have been shipped and to which country. She confirmed that the European Commission proposed to establish an export transparency mechanism as soon as possible, requiring any vaccine exported from the EU to be approved by Brussels. Germany’s health minister, Stephen, expressed support for this. British media analysis said that the UK currently relies on Germany and other EU countries to supply Pfizer vaccines, and the EU may ban exports to counter AstraZeneca.
German media reported on the 26th that the effective rate of AstraZeneca vaccine for the elderly over 65 is only 8%. AstraZeneca then retorted that the report was untrue, citing data released in November last year that all elderly people vaccinated with the two doses of the vaccine had a strong immune response.
Last week, the United States received one million doses of vaccine a day. President Biden said on the 25th that he hoped to raise the number to 1.5 million as soon as possible.