Health Canada approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca Reportedly Warns EU of 50 Percent Shortfall in COVID-19 Jab Deliveries in Second Quarter

AstraZeneca Reportedly Warns EU of 50 Percent Shortfall in COVID-19 Jab Deliveries in Second Quarter

It will also receive up to 1.9 million doses through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX by the end of June.

Problems at a vaccine factory in Belgium run by partner Novasep were reportedly cited.

"Viral-vector vaccines use a harmless modified version of a different virus, the vector, to deliver instructions to our cells", said Sharma.

AstraZeneca is still "working to increase productivity in its European Union supply chain", a spokesperson said via email, and plans to "make use of its global capability in order to achieve delivery of 180 million doses to the European Union in the second quarter".

France's ministry of health said on Tuesday that only 107,000 AstraZeneca jabs had been administered in the first two weeks of the vaccine rollout, French newspaper La Télégramme reported, despite the country having received more than 700,000 doses.

The German health ministry was not immediately available for a comment.

Health Canada has given AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine approval for emergency use in this country.

Earlier in February, AstraZeneca vowed it would boost productivity to churn out over 200 million doses per month globally by April - double February's level. Now the drugmaker is raising flags about its second-quarter supplies.

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Trudeau said 2 million of those doses will come from the Serum Institute of India, which Sharma said uses the same recipe but a slightly different method and was also approved.

As reported by Reuters, the head of AstraZeneca's Italian unit was previously quoted as saying the company will meet the target, while other reports at the beginning of the week say the Anglo-Swedish big pharma is expected to deliver less than half of the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply to the EU. The UK supply deal relies on production at AstraZeneca's two facilities in Oxford and Wrexham, Wales.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, central England May 19, 2014.

The EU contracts stipulate that AstraZeneca will commit to its "best reasonable efforts" to deliver by a set timetable.

Under the leaked European Union contract, besides the two United Kingdom plants, AstraZeneca committed to producing vaccines at a facility in Belgium and one in the Netherlands.

However, from the slides the Commission president Ursula von der Leyen presented to EU leaders during a virtual European Council on Thursday, it appeared clear that this target strongly relies on the "deliveries pending confirmation" in the Q2, of which AstraZeneca shots account for a lion's share.

Canada approved vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna in December, but did not follow the British drug regulator's lead in approving AstraZeneca's vaccine based on trial data published in November.

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