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Coronavirus live news: AstraZeneca to deliver less than half promised doses to EU in second quarter – report

Global cases, deaths continuing to decline, says WHO; French ICU patients with Covid at three-month high; AstraZeneca to deliver less than half promis

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Global cases, deaths continuing to decline, says WHO; French ICU patients with Covid at three-month high; AstraZeneca to deliver less than half promised doses to EU in second quarter – report

More on that story now, from Reuters:

Asked about the EU official’s comment, a spokesman for AstraZeneca initially said: “We are hopeful that we will be able to bring our deliveries closer in line with the advance purchase agreement.”

Later in the day a spokesman in a new statement said the company’s “most recent Q2 forecast for the delivery of its Covid vaccine aims to deliver in line with its contract with the European Commission.”

He added: “At this stage AstraZeneca is working to increase productivity in its EU supply chain and to continue to make use of its global capability in order to achieve delivery of 180 million doses to the EU in the second quarter.”

AstraZeneca Plc has told the European Union it expects to deliver less than half the Covid vaccines it was contracted to supply in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Contacted by Reuters, AstraZeneca did not deny what the official said, but a statement late in the day said the company was striving to increase productivity to deliver the promised 180 million doses.

The expected shortfall, which has not previously been reported, follows a big reduction in supplies in the first quarter and could hit the EU’s ability to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of adults by summer.

The EU official, who is directly involved in talks with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, said the company had told the bloc during internal meetings that it “would deliver less than 90 million doses in the second quarter.”

AstraZeneca’s contract with the EU, which was leaked last week, showed the company had committed to delivering 180 million doses to the 27-nation bloc in the second quarter.

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