European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced Friday that the AstraZeneca-Oxford University coronavirus vaccine has been authorised for the EU market, hours after the bloc’s drug regulator recommended its approval.
It is the third vaccine approved for use in the 27-nation EU, after rival shots produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
“I expect the company to deliver the 400 million doses as agreed,” von der Leyen tweeted, as a row intensified between Brussels and AstraZeneca.
“We will keep on doing all we can to secure vaccines for Europeans, our neighbours & partners worldwide.”
The British-Swedish company has admitted it will only be able to deliver a fraction of the doses promised to the EU in the short-term due to production problems.
That has come as a huge blow to Europe’s already struggling rollout effort, while setting the EU on a collision course with former member Britain as they jostle for AstraZeneca’s limited supplies.
The approval of AstraZeneca’s vaccine also comes in the middle of a controversy over the jab within the EU itself.
Germany’s vaccine commission said Thursday that the vaccine should not be used on over-65s due to insufficient evidence that it works.
Even after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the AstraZeneca’s shot be approved for all ages on Friday, the German panel maintained its stance.
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