AstraZeneca Still Aiming to Deliver on Second Quarter Commitment to EU
Despite facing significant delays in supplying the European Union with its ordered AstraZeneca (AZ)/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine doses, AZ has said that it is using a large number of doses made via its international supply chain to meet its second-quarter supply commitments with Europe.
A company spokesperson told FDAnews that its current projection is “to deliver in line with its contract with the European Commission” for the second quarter, which entails delivering 180 million vaccine doses. In order to do this, AZ revealed that around half of the doses will come from its EU supply chain, while the rest will be provided by its international supply network. In order to get the full number of doses delivered on time, the UK-based company is working to ramp up its manufacturing capabilities.
“At this stage, AZ 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,” the spokesperson said.
The statements followed reports this week that claimed the drugmaker told the EU it would deliver less than half of the contracted second quarter doses on time. Those reports also claimed that an EU official said the company intends to deliver approximately 40 million vaccine shots to Europe in the first quarter, less than half of the 90 million doses under its contract.
AZ revealed shortly before it received European authorization for its vaccine that it was experiencing production problems that would slash initial European deliveries by 60 percent, drawing backlash from officials (DID, Jan. 28).
The EU’s contract with AZ, which has not been released publicly, reportedly puts the company on the hook to deliver 300 million doses by June. — James Miessler