The expected unreported shortfall comes from a sharp reduction in vaccine dose deliveries in the first quarter and could make it harder for the European Commission (EC) to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of adults in the EU against the new coronavirus by the end of the summer.
An EU official in talks with AstraZeneca said the company had announced it would deliver less than 90 million doses in the second quarter.
Under the agreement between AstraZeneca and the EU, the company has committed to deliver 180 million doses to the EU in the second quarter.
“As we work incredibly hard to increase the productivity of our EU supply chain and do our best to take advantage of our global supply chain, we hope to be able to bring our deliveries closer to the terms of the previous procurement agreement,” said an AstraZeneca spokesman. but declined to comment on specific figures.
The EC, which is coordinating negotiations with vaccine manufacturers, also declined to comment on the figures.
An EU official told Reuters that AstraZeneca plans to deliver around 40 million doses to the EU in the first quarter, despite promising to deliver 90 million doses.
AstraZeneca warned the EU in January that it would not be able to deliver all the doses of vaccine promised in the first quarter due to problems at the vaccine plant in Belgium.
The company also had to deliver 30 million doses in the last quarter of 2020, but it did not deliver anything because the AstraZeneca vaccine had not yet been approved in the EU.
In view of the above, AstraZeneca could deliver around 130 million doses to the EU by the end of June, although it had promised to deliver 300 million doses during this period.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved in the EU at the end of January.