Vaccine production schedule
This has disrupted deliveries of the drug to Europe. The head of the company said that AstraZeneca is now working to solve the technical problems and promised to ship 17 million doses by the end of February.
Head of the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot has named the reasons for the disruption of deliveries of the coronavirus vaccine to Europe. According to him, this was due to, among other things, a two-month delay in the production schedule.
Soriot said: "The first phase of vaccine production is taking place at two plants in Belgium and the Netherlands. There have been difficulties with the production of the main component of the drug". "We are two months behind schedule, but we are now working to resolve this problem", he added.
He explained that at the Belgian plant, for example, the problem had to do with filtering the vaccine before filling it into ampoules.
Asked by reporters why a similar technical failure had not occurred in deliveries of the drug to the UK, the head of AstraZeneca said the contract with London had been awarded three months earlier, allowing the malfunction to be rectified.
"Between February and March we will resume production at maximum capacity also for the EU", Sorio added. He noted that once their vaccine is approved by the EMA (European regulator), the pharma company will immediately send 3 million doses of the drug to the EU, with deliveries of the vaccine also expected within the next three weeks. AstraZeneca intends to send 17 million doses to Europe by the end of February.
Pascal also recalled that 17% of the pharma giant's total production is sent to the EU, with the company having commitments to supply the vaccine to non-profit organisations.