EU criticises AstraZeneca over production shortfalls amid action warning

The European Union has been criticised at home and abroad for the slow rollout of its vaccine drive.

EU criticises AstraZeneca over production shortfalls amid action warning

A leading European Union official has lashed out at AstraZeneca over a massive shortfall in doses produced for the 27-nation bloc.

Sandra Galina, the chief of the European Commission’s health division, threatened that any shots produced by AstraZeneca in the EU could be forced to stay there.

She told legislators that while vaccine producers such as Pfizer and Moderna have largely met their commitments “the problem has been AstraZeneca”, adding: “So it’s one contract which we have a serious problem.”

The European Union has been criticised at home and abroad for the slow rollout of its vaccine drive to citizens, standing at about a third of jabs given to their citizens compared to nations such as the United States and UK.

How the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine works
(PA Graphics)

“We are not even receiving a quarter of such deliveries as regards this issue,” she said, adding that AstraZeneca could expect measures from the EU.

“We intend, of course, to take action because, you know, this is the issue that cannot be left unattended,” she said.

The EU closed an advance purchasing agreement with the Anglo-Swedish company in August last year for up to 400 million doses.

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