European Union suing AstraZeneca to get 90 mn vaccine doses before July

Henrietta Strickland
May 12, 2021

De Keersmaecker said the aim of the lawsuits was not to punish AstraZeneca with a fine or seek compensation but "to make sure that the doses are delivered".

"We want to do all we can to boost that production because I have heard from some of my colleagues in neighbouring countries, from the government of Bhutan, about their concern that India, of course, is having to divert a lot of its existing production to its own domestic needs, which is absolutely understandable", he said.

The US had already diverted ingredients required for the manufacture of 20 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine in India, he said.

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Alberta has stopped administering first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in favour of other types of immunization.

This decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood clotting condition, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine isn't offered by the Northwestern Health Unit but it has been used by local pharmacies including Pharmasave in Dryden.

Now she worries if her second dose will be a different vaccine brand.

De Keersmaecker spoke after two senior European Union officials over the weekend said the European Union did not renew its order for AstraZeneca vaccine beyond June and would not buy more doses in the future.

In Canada, at least 12 cases have been confirmed out of more than two million doses given and three women have died.

Almost all the 2.3 million doses of AstraZeneca delivered so far have been used.

Ontario has given out more than 650,000 doses of the AZ vaccine so far.

Guidance for Ontarians who got AstraZeneca as their first shot will be coming soon, Dr. Dirk Huyer, provincial outbreak response coordinator, said. That includes both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 and the B.1.1.7 variant of it.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized Tuesday that every vaccine shipped to Canada has been found to be safe and effective by Health Canada.

But Dr. Jessica Hopkins, Ontario's chief health protection and emergency preparedness officer, said Tuesday that increasing availability of alternative vaccines means it's now time to ask if Ontarians should preferentially choose another product. "They feel that as a prudent measure, that they would keep the small amount they have left in order to ensure that second dose, for those who already have it".

It's up from six in 10 people last October, and seven in 10 in January.

The federal vaccine procurement centre told CTV Montreal that many more AstraZeneca doses are on the way: 655,000 COVAX doses "within the next number of weeks", and one million in June.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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