EU warns pharma companies to honor contractual obligations on Covid-19 vaccines

Meanwhile, the German health ministry has denied reports that the Oxford AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine is only 8 percent effective for older people.  
EU warns pharma companies to honor contractual obligations on Covid-19 vaccines

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: "Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first Covid-19 vaccines to create a truly global common good. And now, the companies must deliver. They must honour their obligations." Picture: Olivier Hoslet/Pool Photo via AP

The European Union has warned pharmaceutical giants that develop coronavirus vaccines to honour their contractual obligations after slow deliveries of shots from two companies hampered the rollout in several nations. 

The bloc had already hit out at AstraZeneca, accusing it of failing to guarantee the delivery of vaccines without a valid explanation, and expressed displeasure over delivery delays from Pfizer-BioNTech last week.

On Tuesday, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told the World Economic Forum that Europe had "invested billions to help develop the world's first Covid-19 vaccines to create a truly global common good. 

"And now, the companies must deliver. They must honour their obligations," she said, 

German health ministry denies reports on AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy

Meanwhile, the German health ministry has denied reports that the Oxford AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine is only 8 percent effective for older people.  

Germany’s health ministry released a statement on Tuesday morning clarifying that there was no data to support the claim. 

The German ministry reiterated the claim that it expected the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to decide on Friday whether to approve the vaccine.

The clarification came after German newspaper Handelsbatt published an article stating that the AstraZeneca vaccine had an efficacy level as low as 8 per cent for people over the age of 65.

AstraZeneca itself rejected the  Handesblatt report saying it was “completely incorrect”.

"Reports that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine efficacy is as low as 8% in adults over 65 years are completely incorrect," AstraZeneca said in a statement.

"In November, we published data in The Lancet demonstrating that older adults showed strong immune responses to the vaccine, with 100% of older adults generating spike-specific antibodies after the second dose," it added

- AP

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