News – AU – AstraZeneca CEO defends EU vaccine levy at parliamentary barbecue

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(Bloomberg) – Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca Plc, tried to divert blame for a lack of Covid-19 vaccine shipments to Europe and assures lawmakers that his company is working to meet the goals of the second quarter to achieve

Soriot spoke from afar at a European Parliament hearing that his company would ship 40 million cans to the European Union in the first quarter, with volume increasing in the months ahead to increase production, but perfecting the process takes time and is not without setbacks, he said

“Whether you make cars, airplanes, or vaccines, you often have problems manufacturing them,” Soriot said. Typically in our industry we have years to refine the process Here we didn’t have that time, we didn’t have the luxury we had six monthsâ ????

AstraZeneca will seek to tap into its global supply chain to make up some of the deficit, including manufacturing in the USASSoriot said during a meeting where Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc, CureVac NV and Novavax Inc were also interviewed

The EU has come under fire for its slow adoption of vaccines Add to this delays in deliveries to some of the major drug manufacturers with countries like the UK, Israel and the US. push forward

In January, the bloc had a bitter public spit with Astra after the company announced it couldn’t deliver the doses it had promised in the first quarter due to production problems.The event prompted the EU to tighten controls on vaccine exports from the region to ensure that other countries are not given preferential treatment

However, the export controls have caused problems for CureVac NV, which had a one-week delay in delivering supplies to Latin America for the late test of its Covid shot, the German company is now awaiting a possible approval for the shot while in late May or June it was aimed at April until recently. The process data are expected to be available in mid-April, CEO Franz-Werner Haas said at the hearing. He had previously expected at the end of March

Relations between Astra and the EU threatened to deteriorate again this week due to a cut in delivery in the second quarter However, the company said it was working to increase productivity in its European supply chain to ensure the promised 180 million cans are delivered

Soriot was repeatedly asked about doses in the UK On the way to the European Union and vice versa, when the legislature sought the certainty that the citizens of the bloc would receive the agreed supplies

At one point in the hearing it got personal when Finnish lawmaker accused Silvia Modig Soriot of being like a bar of soap that cannot be reachedâ ????

Despite the slow start, the EU seems to be catching up with the U. and youS London-based research firm Airfinity Ltd should be able to vaccinate 75% of the adult population by the end of August, roughly two months earlier than previously forecast, the bloc’s supply prospects have improved by hundreds of millions in recent weeks thanks to new contracts with Pfizer and Moderna to secure additional doses

One hurdle the EU has yet to face is public acceptance reluctance to be vaccinated, particularly with the shot by Astra and Oxford University partners, has resulted in cans being no longer used questions about his Efficacy and restrictions on use in the elderly in many EU countries have created confusion US. Astra’s trial results expected in the coming weeks should provide some clarity, Soriot reiterated at the hearing that his vaccine is dramatically reducing hospitalization rates

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told lawmakers this month she expected 300 million doses of vaccine to be delivered to the block in the next quarter – a significant increase from the estimated 18 million doses in January, 33 million in February and 55 million in March

Angela Hwang, Managing Director of Pfizer, said the company’s Belgian factory will be able to ship 100 million cans per month through June and that shipments will be made in accordance with contracts and the timing of regulatory approvals

Hwang said Pfizer is not in favor of export restrictions like the US imposed by the EU The pharmaceutical company needs 280 materials from 86 locations worldwide in 19 countries to manufacture its vaccine, she said

The European Parliament hearing follows a similar session in Washington earlier this week in which pharmaceutical executives assured lawmakers that vaccine supply bottlenecks should be resolved soon

AstraZeneca, vaccine, Pascal Soriot, chairman of the board, Pfizer

News – AU – AstraZeneca CEO defends EU vaccine delivery at parliamentary barbecue
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Source: https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/astra-ceo-defends-eu-vaccine-delivery-in-parliamentary-grilling