Published: Sun, January 31, 2021
Economy | By

UK's former vaccine chief does not believe EU will block exports

UK's former vaccine chief does not believe EU will block exports

"The German questions about the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, and the US FDA's apparent unwillingness to approve it, are unfortunate and may not be helpful for the FTSE 100 firm's reputation, but many other countries seem happy to keep on using it", he said. Both were authorised for all adults.

The pharma giant welcomed EMA's decision.

With trials showing about 60% efficacy, the vaccine appears to offer less protection than ones already authorised, but experts have said any vaccine with an efficacy rate of over 50% could help stop outbreaks. "This is a race against the clock - we can not lose time because of vaccines not being delivered on schedule".

Many countries on the continent have been struggling to vaccinate people as quickly as Britain, Israel, the USA and elsewhere, and it was long hoped that the AstraZeneca shot would help speed things up at a time when countries face surging cases in a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 400,000 people in the 27-nation bloc.

"None of them is a magic wand on its own, but together they provide tools and options to prevent different aspects of the disease", said Emer Cooke, the head of the EMA.

Major General Doctor Bahaa El-Din Zidan, Chairman of the AUPP Board of Directors said that vaccines are safe and effective, saying "we support all the state's efforts to confront the Coronavirus, especially in providing vaccines and drugs".

The "transparency mechanism" announced gives European Union countries powers to deny authorisation for vaccine exports if the company making them hasn't honoured existing contracts with the EU.

Because most of the people in the clinical studies are between 18 and 55, there has been speculation that the European Union might set a maximum age of 55 for people receiving the vaccine.

Germany has indicated it could follow a similar path.

The same spokesman said: We are of the opinion that the vaccine should work in older patients, but we have a limited number of cases so far.

"We are now actually ordering further vaccines for 2022, to have at least some on hand", Spahn said.

Pakistan has secured 17 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine under a global scheme to deliver coronavirus treatments to developing nations, a government health official said on Saturday.

Exacerbating concerns about supplies to the bloc, which is home to some 450 million people, Moderna told countries including Italy and Denmark the company would be delivering fewer vaccines than originally expected.

Separately, trial results released Friday by Johnson & Johnson highlight how much is at stake from potential supply disruptions, as billions wait to be immunised before constant mutations render the virus less vulnerable to existing vaccines.

The International Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 45 million businesses, wrote to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday to oppose the move.

The EU insisted that's not an export ban, although it could be used to block shipments to the United Kingdom or many other non-EU countries.

As the row rumbles on, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's warning to world leaders last Monday may fall on deaf ears.

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