Pfizer vaccine: Expert explains 'concerning' results in Israel
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The US drugs maker was due to ship the vaccines to the bloc in December, according to EU officials. It leaves member states around one-third short of the supply expected from the pharmaceutical giant. The shortfall is a further setback to the EU’s sluggish rollout of vaccines, which has also been hit by delays from UK-based AstraZeneca and US firm Moderna.
Pfizer this week delivered 4.8 million doses of its Covid vaccine, which is developed alongside German partner BioNTech, to the EU.
This means the EU has taken delivery of around 28 million doses of the two-shot jab, EU officials told the Reuters news agency.
But the bloc is still 10 million doses short of what Pfizer was said to have promised to member states since the rollout began late last year.
EU sources say Pfizer committed to delivering around 3.5 million doses a week from the start of January.
The slight increase was said to reflect the firm’s efforts to make up for earlier shortfalls in deliveries.
Around five million doses will be delivered next week and in the first week of March.
The EU has two contracts with Pfizer for the supply of 600 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine was approved for use across the EU on December 21.
The next day, BioNTech said the companies would ship 12.5 million doses to member states by the end of the year.
But only a portion of those doses have been delivered, EU officials claimed.
Despite the shortfalls and growing anger over the bloc’s sluggish vaccines rollout, the European Commission has yet to ban the export of any jabs abroad.
Last month eurocrats unveiled plans to block firms from shipping their vaccines outside of the bloc.
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But between January 30 and February 16, the EU approved the 57 requests for shipments to 24 countries, including Britain and the United Arab Emirates.
Before the scheme was established, European producers had sent millions of vaccine doses to Israel, Britain and Canada.
The EU’s vaccine scheme has fallen drastically behind the programmes of Britain and Israel.
According to the latest information, Israel has vaccinated 75 percent of its population, including first and second doses.
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And Britain has administered doses to more than a fifth of its population.
In contrast, EU countries have only delivered jabs to five in 100 people.
Yesterday Brussels announce a deal with Pfizer for 200 million more doses, and announced a major new order of 150 million more Moderna jabs.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Of course, we have to fight with many, many detailed problems, bottlenecks, delays, which we do overcome step by step.
“But it’s an ongoing learning process.”
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