The EU Commission will not renew Covid vaccine contracts with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) when they expire, according to reports. The vaccines produced by both of these companies are facing scrutiny over their links to blood clotting and have been subject to numerous medical reviews. Reuters has the story.
The EU Commission has decided not to renew Covid vaccine contracts next year with AstraZeneca and J&J, Italian daily La Stampa reported on Wednesday, citing a source from the Italian health ministry.
“The European Commission, in agreement with the leaders of many (EU) countries, has decided that the contracts with the companies that produce (viral vector) vaccines that are valid for the current year will not be renewed at their expiry,” the newspaper reported. …
A spokesman for the EU Commission said it was keeping all options open to be prepared for the next stages of the pandemic, for 2022 and beyond.
“We cannot, however, comment on contractual issues,” the spokesman added.
Later on Wednesday the President of the European Commission said the EU was in talks with Pfizer and BionTech for a new contract for 1.8 billion doses, confirming a Reuters report from last week.
“We need to focus on technologies that have proven their worth. mRNA vaccines are a clear case in point,” she added.
La Stampa reports that Brussels would rather prioritise Covid vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna – both of which use mRNA technology – in the UE’s rollout efforts. Studies from across Europe have shown that many people are refusing the AZ vaccine due to concerns over its link to blood clots (for example, 33% of Danes and up to 80% of Sicilians would reportedly turn the vaccine down). The rollout of J&J Covid vaccines in Europe has also recently been delayed by the company, following reports on its relationship with rare blood clots.
The Reuters report is worth reading in full.
Stop Press: The Danish Health Authority has announced that it will no longer be recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine.
There is a possible link between very rare cases of unusual blood clots, bleeding, low blood platelets counts and the vaccine from AstraZeneca. This, coupled with the fact that the Covid epidemic in Denmark is currently under control and other vaccines are available against Covid, has been instrumental in the Danish Health Authority’s decision to continue its vaccination programme against Covid without the vaccine from AstraZeneca.
Worth reading in full.