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UPDATE 1-EU has not yet ordered more AstraZeneca vaccines, says internal market commissioner

Sun, 9th May 2021 13:27

(Adds extra cost for Pfizer vaccine, background)

PARIS, May 9 (Reuters) - hThe European Union has not yet
made any new orders for AstraZeneca vaccines beyond June
when their contract ends, European Internal Market Commissioner
Thierry Breton said on Sunday.

Breton also said he expected that the costs of the EU's
recent order for more doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines
would be higher than the earlier versions.

The Commission last month launched legal action against
AstraZeneca for not respecting its contract for the supply of
COVID-19 vaccines and for not having a "reliable" plan to ensure
timely deliveries.

"We did not renew the order after June. We’ll see what
happens," said Breton, adding that it was "a very good vaccine".

Concerns has risen on potential side-effects of the
Anglo-Swedish COVID-19 vaccine.

Europe's medicines regulator said on Friday it is reviewing
reports of a rare nerve-degenerating disorder in people who
received the shots, a move that comes after it found the vaccine
may have caused very rare blood clotting cases.

Breton said an increase in prices for second generation
vaccines could be justified by the extra research required and
potential changes to industrial equipment.

The European Union signed a new contract with
Pfizer-Biontech to receive 1.8 billion doses of COVID-19
vaccines for 2021-2023, to cover booster shots, donations and
reselling of doses, the European Commission said on Friday.

"There may be a little extra cost but I will let the
competent authorities unveil it in due course," he told France
Inter radio.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide;
Editing by Toby Chopra, Andrew Cawthorne and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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