Brussels wants to ensure that European factories will be able to obtain the equipment necessary for the development of vaccines. A meeting will take place on Monday between European Commissioner Thierry Breton and his American counterpart Jeffrey Zients.
“Two to three billion doses“Vaccines could be produced per year by the end of the year on European soil, European Commissioner Thierry Breton recently promised. To achieve this objective, the European Union wishes to strengthen its collaboration with the United States.
According to a European source, a meeting will be held on Monday March 8 between Thierry Breton, now responsible for accelerating the production of vaccine doses on the continent, and his American counterpart Jeffrey Zients, the coordinator of the team in charge of the fight against the Covid-19 at the White House.
The role of the Commission is not at all that of doing AstraZeneca’s job, by recovering doses potentially available across the Atlantic
A European source at Le Figaro
Criticized in recent weeks for delays in vaccine delivery, the EU is working hard to speed up the production of doses on its soil. Over the past two weeks, the European Commissioner has toured European vaccine production sites to identify the main bottlenecks. The manufacture of so-called messenger RNA vaccines, such as those from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, requires certain ingredients for which the EU depends on the United States. The EU teams also spoke with partner sites of the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca, which are located in Belgium and the Netherlands.
«We have tightly linked production chains between the United States and Europe. The goal is to anticipate that there will be no sticking point in the coming weeks.», Specifies this European source. The EU wants to ensure that its factories will be able to obtain the equipment necessary for the development of vaccines. Some elements will be the subject of particular attention during the discussions on Monday, namely: the nanolipids necessary for the messenger RNA vaccines, the vials, the syringes but also the sterile bags which line the 1000 liter tanks where the vaccine is manufactured, and which few manufacturers produce. These “disposable bags»Are produced in particular by European companies which have their production sites across the Atlantic, but also by American companies located on European soil.
Export of vaccines?
In an article published this Saturday, March 6, the Financial Times says the EU will urge the US government to approve the export of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to European soil. Washington has ordered 300 million doses of this vaccine, however it has yet to be approved by US regulators. “The role of the Commission is not at all that of doing AstraZeneca’s job, by recovering doses potentially available across the Atlantic. EU not looking for doses, it’s not on the agenda », Contests, however, a European official contacted by Le Figaro.
At the end of the first quarter of 2021, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company must deliver 40 million doses to the European Union, which is half the volume initially planned. AstraZeneca has repeatedly failed to deliver on its delivery promises, due to production issues. “The EU will see at the time of delivery whether the group has fulfilled its obligations and will act accordingly», Concludes the European official.
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