EU 'to END vaccine AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson partnership' in furious retaliation

Following issues with both companies, the EU Commission will not renew its deal with either and will focus on the RNA messenger vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna. According to a source, the EU Commission has been supported by several EU states with its decision. Both AstraZeneca and J&J have experienced supply issues forcing the EU Commission to focus on vaccines using the RNA messenger. 

A source told the Italian publication La Stampa: “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.

“We want to focus on messenger Rna vaccines, which carry the instructions for the production of the spike protein used by the coronavirus, thus allowing the body to produce specific antibodies and to immunise itself.

“It would be the triumph of Pfizer and Moderna, which until now have given more security, and it would be the end of AstraZeneca, J&J, already authorised by EMA.”

The US company announced it will delay vaccine exports to Europe amid concerns over blood clots. 

Following an investigation, the US health agency recommended states should pause the use of the shot on Tuesday. 

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had approved the single-shot vaccine last month and was investigating cases of rare blood clots in women. 

The EU has a contract worth up to 55 million doses which the company aims to be delivered by the end of June. 

The EMA will also conduct an investigation after a second jab was found to have concerns of blood clots. 

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Overall, the company has agreed to deliver 200 million doses to the bloc this year. 

The blood clots which have been reported in the US are similar to what was has also been seen with the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

The EU and AstraZeneca have clashed over vaccine supplies, of which the Commission has ordered 400 million doses. 

Not only has the EU wrestled with the company over supplies but has also been uncertain as to the drug’s efficacy. 

Although the EMA did recognise rare blood clots associated with the drug, it concluded the benefits outweighed the risk of taking the drug last week. 

The Commission has, however, taken out a dispute mechanism with the company accusing AstraZeneca of breaching the terms of the contract. 

A letter from the EU Head of Health and Food Safety DG Sandra Gallina said: “AstraZeneca has breached and continues to breach its contractual obligations on the production and supply of the initial 300 million doses for Europe.”

Brussels has ordered the company to remedy the issues within 20 days of the letter.