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EU hints it might not order AstraZeneca vaccine again, due to delays

An AstraZeneca vaccination kit is placed on a table at a vaccination center in Bucharest, Romania, April 7, 2021.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
An AstraZeneca vaccination kit is placed on a table at a vaccination center in Bucharest, Romania, April 7, 2021.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The EU’s internal markets commissioner Thierry Breton hints that the bloc might decide not to order AstraZeneca’s coronavirus shot again following delays in delivering the first batches of the vaccine.

“We’re pragmatic. My priority, as far as the vaccines are concerned, is to ensure that the firms we have contracts with deliver them punctually,” Breton tells BFMTV television.

Brussels had originally ordered 120 million doses of the Anglo-Swedish group’s jab for the 27 member states in the first quarter and 180 million in the second quarter.

But the drug maker “only delivered 30 million, thus creating the problems that everyone has seen,” Breton says.

And only another 70 million will be delivered in the second quarter, he continues, but adds: “Nothing is decided. Talks are still ongoing.”

The EU commissioner insists that any such decision would “not be for epidemiological or medical reasons.”

“When looking at the data, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the disease,” he says.

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