The UK is one of the most affected countries in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, so there’s no wonder that the British scientists were struggling to develop a vaccine. AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish biopharmaceutical and multinational pharmaceutical company that has its headquarters in Cambridge, England, is responsible for creating one of the vaccines for the coronavirus.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is already in widespread use in the UK. But even so, the rest of Europe has not yet approved the drug. While many experts are praising the vaccine, The Guardian writes the sad news that AstraZeneca cuts down the supply to the European Union by 60%.
Production problems lead to lower supply than expected
The cut is available for the first quarter of 2021, according to what a senior official declared for Reuters. Initially, AstraZeneca was expected to deliver about 80 million vaccine doses by the end of March, but the company later informed the EU of the reduction to only 31 million doses.
But there’s some good news regarding the second quarter of 2021: AstraZeneca informed that it would deliver over 80 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. However, production issues made the company unable to indicate its delivery targets for the period between April and June.
ABC News writes that pooled results regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine trials reveal an efficacy rate of 70.4 percent. The score is significantly lower than the one obtained by Pfizer and Moderna, as both companies offer vaccines for COVID-19 that are about 95% effective.
The European Union is expected to give approval or refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 until January 29. Until then, the old continent still struggles with large numbers of infections and deaths because of the coronavirus. The UK alone surpassed 3.6 million infections and 97,000 deaths.