EU Decision on AstraZeneca's Covid-19 Vaccine Expected Today

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European regulators will decide today whether to approve the astrazeneca oxford corona virus vaccine for use in the eu. It's a big moment for the union. European countries have been lagging behind in their vaccination rollout compared to the uk and the us one of the reasons for that is the eu had ordered more doses of the astra zeneca vaccine the the pfizer biontech vaccine which was approved in december. They'd been hoping this new approval would get them up to speed but even before that happens there have been complications. Astrazeneca has told the e you it won't be able to fulfil its order right away and now more shortages could be on the horizon to discuss the situation. I'm joined now by the wall street. Journal's boy on panchev ski from berlin. Glad you're here boy on hi there mark boy on. Why is this shortage emerging. So what's happening is this. The european union doesn't seem to have ordered enough. Those is from the companies that kind of in the vaccine in the race to put a vaccine to market. And not only that but now it happens so that astrazeneca which developed a vaccine together with to oxford university seems to have had a problem in its supply chain and it saying econ deliver the original amount does is there were promised for for the first quarter of this year and these two things together have basically created a lack of supply for the european union. And now they are simply not enough shots for for all the people that need to receive them boy on. What is the response from astra zeneca. We heard from an e you commissioner. Recently who expressed tremendous dissatisfaction. Yes well there has been actually a bit of a war of words between the european union national governments and the european commission which which speaks for the european union and on one side and astra astrazeneca the pharmaceutical giant on the other astrazeneca denies that dave violated contractual obligations. They're saying they would been deliver. What they are meant to be delivering. But they have a bit of a hiccup related to a contractor in belgium and therefore they won't be able to meet the target but they're not saying that they are breaking commitments in law and that's the debate between the two sides. The you saying you know you. You've said you'll do this. You have an obligation to do that. The contract we haven't seen it is not public It's confidential and there has been talk now that the contract would be published so we can all see what's actually written in the contract and who is actually honoring mets or not. Can you way the company kind of rejects the european byu. That is done something wrong. Essentially and they're basically in a nutshell saying this is a normal part of this. This huge complex effort to produce hundreds of millions dozes for the whole world in in a ongoing pandemic boy on as that discussion is taking place. What's happening across europe to deal with this well essentially. There's a bit of a political backlash now in some countries of the european union notably in the most populous country germany because it has become apparent that there are not enough those this of vaccines of any kinds against coronavirus in the immediate term and that essentially means that people will who are vulnerable will not be able to be To get the job and be protected he immediately and that means also that the lockdowns were might be prolonged that the restrictions and the measures that we have in place in europe will will loss longer than people have perhaps hope for. There's so much they can do. Essentially what they could do is they could order more dozes from the companies. That have a vaccine that has been authorized by regulators. And so far we've got. As of friday. Essentially three companies astrazeneca is most likely to be authorized in europe. Then we have pfizer and biontech and we have modern. So what the the choice for the european union's toward more is now the problem with that. Is that everyone's those so you if you whoever orders now will be at the back of the queue. there's global q. Of nations or waiting for supplies and and some of them are huge. Markets such as the united states such as great britain and in the case of zenica india. And so on. So that won't be easy and and there will be slight delay in delivering. Whatever new orders might might be placed

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