MOSCOW, March 14 – RIA Novosti. Delays in the supply of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines to the European Union are partly due to the fact that the contractual plant for the production of the drug in the Netherlands has not yet transferred a single dose to Brussels, according to the Financial Times.
The plant in the Dutch city of Leiden, as the newspaper notes, is listed in the supply contract as one of the main manufacturers of the active ingredient in the vaccine, along with the plant in the Belgian Senef. Earlier, the CEO of AstraZeneca Pascal Sorio reported that the active ingredient of the drug is produced in Belgium and the Netherlands, and then bottled in ampoules at factories in Germany and Italy.
The plant in the Netherlands, which is operated by a subcontractor to Halix, is expected to produce at least 5 million doses and ship them to the EU. However, as the newspaper notes, despite the fact that the production of vaccines is underway, the plant has not yet received permission to supply from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). According to the sources of the publication, for this AstraZeneca has not yet provided the regulator with all the necessary data.
An AstraZeneca spokesman said that “EMA approval for the facility is still proceeding as planned.” As unnamed European officials told the newspaper, discussions about EMA's approval for the plant are ongoing.
In the EU market, four vaccines are now allowed to centrally use – from the companies Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. However, the vaccination campaign is not going smoothly. In particular, there have been and are interruptions in the supply of some drugs. So, AstraZeneca on Saturday confirmed reports of new delays in the supply of vaccines to the European Union. Pfizer / BioNTech also reported short deliveries a few weeks ago.
In addition, as a precautionary measure, the Austrian authorities had previously decided to suspend the use of the batch of AstraZeneca vaccine due to the death of one vaccinated woman and illness of another after receiving the vaccine. Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia and Denmark followed the example of Austria.