The vaccine maker AstraZeneca expects it will only be able to deliver half of the promised vaccines to the EU in the months of April, May and June, a European source told the news agency Tuesday Reuters. It is the second time this year that the British-Swedish company has delivered less than promised. “It is an extremely complicated company to meet”, says Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health).
The EU and AstraZeneca had agreed that the company would deliver 180 million vaccines, but now there would be only 90 million. What that means for the Netherlands is not clear.
The expected shortage would be due to a lack of raw materials in the first quarter. “We are working very hard to increase our European production and so hope that we will be able to bring our deliveries back into line with the agreements,” said an AstraZeneca spokesperson who declined to comment on the news.
It is the second time that AstraZeneca has been supplying fewer vaccines to the EU. In January, the company warned Brussels that it could not meet its delivery goals. If all goes according to expectations, AstraZeneca will have delivered 130 million doses to the EU by June, far less than the 300 million planned.
‘It drives you crazy’
“AstraZeneca is an extremely complicated company to make agreements with,” said Minister De Jonge at the corona press conference on Tuesday evening. “The changes happen once every 3, 4 days. It drives you crazy.”
He emphasizes that the deliveries determine the speed of the vaccination. “Fewer deliveries means less vaccination. In total we have ordered 84.5 million vaccines. Even if a few deliveries are canceled, we will still go a long way. But halving the deliveries will cut it down considerably,” he concludes.