AstraZeneca has offered to bring forward some deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union while the bloc has asked the British drugmaker if it can divert doses from the UK to make up for a shortfall in supplies, European officials said
The Anglo-Swedish company unexpectedly announced on Friday it would cut supplies to the EU of its vaccine candidate in the first quarter of this year, a move that a senior EU official told Reuters meant a 60% reduction to 31 million doses for the bloc.
That complicated the EU's vaccination plans, after Pfizer had also announced a temporary slowdown in deliveries of its vaccine, and triggered an outcry in Brussels and EU capitals.
Two European officials told Reuters this morning that AstraZeneca at two extraordinary meetings on Monday had offered the EU to bring forward to Feb. 7 the start of deliveries from an initial plan to begin on Feb 15.
One of the sources, briefed on talks, said that AstraZeneca had also revised upward its supply goals for February compared to the cuts announced last week, but the company offered no clarity on supplies for March.
This appears to be an overture by AstraZeneca to try and keep the peace with the EU as the row over its sudden cut to deliveries escalates, damaging trust between Brussels and the drugmaker before the shot has been approved in the region.
The second EU official, directly involved in the talks, said however there was no offer to increase supplies.