A vial of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination centre Photograph:( AFP )
European Commission is in agreement with the leaders of many EU countries to not renew the vaccine contracts for companies that have produced viral vector vaccines
The European Commission has decided against renewing coronavirus vaccine contracts next year with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in view of the recent concerns surrounding the jabs made by the companies.
Italian newspaper La Stampa on Wednesday revealed the big move, citing a source in the Italian Health Ministry. According to the newspaper, the EU Commission is in agreement with the leaders of many EU countries to not renew the vaccine contracts for companies that have produced viral vector vaccines.
The contracts are valid for 2021 and will not be renewed for 2022. The EU is reportedly shifting is focus to vaccines that have been developed using the mRNA (messenger RNA) technology - the ones made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
An EU official told Reuters on Tuesday that they are awaiting a clarification from Johnson & Johnson about the “completely unexpected” delay in delivery of vaccines to the bloc which has been hit hard.
Both the vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have come under the scrutiny of health regulators after instances of blood clots were reported. Even though very rare, the clots have led to deaths, prompting many countries to halt the usage of these vaccines.
(With inputs from agencies)