It is likely that the European Union will not renew its contracts for vaccines against covid-19 with the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca in 2022, according to the French Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher. “The decision is not decided” but, after Denmark’s decision on Wednesday to abandon this vaccine, “It is the greatest probability” that Europe does not make new orders, indicated the minister on the radio RMC this Friday morning.
Agnès Pannier Runacher was referring to a renewal of the European contract in 2022, the one already signed covering the whole of 2021, her firm told AFP in the morning: the existing contract covers the European Union on a firm order for 300 million AstraZeneca doses and an option for 100 million additional doses.
New vaccines in the second half of the year
“We have not started discussions with Johnson & Johnson and with AstraZeneca for a new contract, where we have already started discussions with Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna”, underlined the Minister. “We have a vaccine portfolio with messenger RNA which works very well and has few side effects, we are going to have new vaccines, hopefully, Novavax, Sanofi, which are recombinant proteins that have very good results and we have 50 years of hindsight on this type of technology, ”she explained. “These vaccines will arrive in the second half of the year, so we will see a lot of doses on different platforms to meet all the needs.”
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, argued this week that Pfizer-BioNTech had “proved to be a reliable partner, which has honored its commitments and is responsive to our needs”, countering the problems of delivery of AstraZeneca, developed with the University of Oxford.
Denmark became on Wednesday the first European country to announce the abandonment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, justifying this choice by the “rare” but “serious” side effects despite the green lights of the European regulator and the WHO to use it . Denmark is thus continuing its immunization campaign with only Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
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