BRUSSELS — AstraZeneca has pulled out of meeting with the European Union to discuss delayed vaccine commitments to the bloc, an EU official said.

The official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the talks, said the EU would “insist on them” coming back to the negotiating table to explain the delay in deliveries once the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine gets approved for use by the European Medicines Agency. The EU’s drug regulator was scheduled to hold on meeting on approving the vaccine on Friday.

Wednesday’s talks with the EU Commission and member states were slated to be the third in as many days, as an ever angrier EU is demanding an explanation about the delays.

AstraZeneca said in a statement that they “understand and share in the frustration that initial supply volumes of our vaccine delivered to the European Union will be lower than forecast.”

It did not address the issue of the planned meeting with the EU’s steering board, which brings together experts from the executive Commission, the member states, and in this case, hopefully AstraZeneca.

On Monday, the EU threatened to impose tight export controls within days on COVID-19 vaccines made in the bloc.

The EU, which has 450 million citizens and the economic and political clout of the world’s biggest trading bloc, is lagging badly behind countries like Israel and Britain in rolling out coronavirus vaccine shots for its health care workers and most vulnerable people. That’s despite having over 400,000 confirmed virus deaths since the pandemic began.

The shortfall of planned deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine combined with hiccups in the distribution of Pfizer-BioNTech shots as that company upgrades production facilities at a plant in Belgium is putting EU nations under heavy political pressure.

Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at:

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Starbucks is expanding takeout options

New York (CNN Business)Starbucks is pivoting hundreds of North American stores away from the cafe model it helped make ubiquitous and will expand its pickup-only and to-go business — a strategy shift that illustrates how much consumer behavior has changed…

DW Sports goes into administration, putting 1,700 jobs at risk

Sports retailer and gym group DW Sports has said it is to enter administration, putting 1,700 jobs at risk, after its revenues were severely impacted by the closure of gyms during lockdown. The company, which was founded by former Wigan…

Ford cutting 1,400 US salaried jobs with retirement offers

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. will offer early retirement incentives with hopes of cutting its U.S. white-collar workforce by 1,400 more positions. Kumar Galhotra, the company’s president of the Americas, told employees about the offers Wednesday morning. The company…

Saudi Arabia initiates extra oil production reduction within OPEC+ framework, says source

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia, which promised early in January to further reduce oil production by 1 mln barrels per day more in February – March 2021, has initiated implementation of its plan, an OPEC delegate told TASS on…