European Union launches legal action against AstraZeneca

MILAN People eat lunch at the terrace of a restaurant by a canal as much of Italy saw easing of coronavirus restrictions on Monday.—Reuters

The announcement reflects growing pressure the USA has faced to share its vaccine supply with other countries, such as India, that have seen surges of Covid-19 infections or struggled to jump-start their vaccination drives.

During the conference on Monday, Slavitt said the AstraZeneca vaccine is highly safe and effective, but that the us has enough doses of vaccines already approved by the FDA without the 300 million ordered from the UK.

USA lawmakers and other influential voices have been calling for the U.S.to donate its spare vaccines to countries like India, particularly some of the tens of millions of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. "Many people here were reminded of the Cold War era when the USA was not seen as a reliable partner", Arun Singh, former Indian ambassador to the U.S., told ThePrint. "Our two nations have suffered greatly".

'We are sitting on 35-40 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine Americans will never use, ' Dr Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, wrote on Twitter last week. But safety concerns relating to that vaccine, often the main shot available under the donor-backed COVAX program to ensure access for developing countries, have left some Africans anxious.

Some have raised the untrue claim that the shots can cause infertility on sites such as WhatsApp.

However, the White House is increasingly feeling assured about the supply of the three vaccines being administered in the USA, particularly following the restart of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot over the weekend.

"The world has failed to find a vaccine for AIDS all these years, but they quickly found a vaccine for COVID?" World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had warned that vaccines are still unavailable in some of the world's lowest-income countries.

"I think we can safely say that the issue of doses of vaccine, particularly the AZ vaccine, are certainly under active discussion". About 50 million more doses are in various stages of production and could be available to ship in May and June pending FDA sign-off.

The official said, "I want to be clear here that we did not intervene with the manufacturer to make them fill the Serum Institute's order; we don't have that power". U.S. authorities are still evaluating the vaccine.

"Anything you take has a risk".

Last week, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) updated its own recommendations for the AstraZeneca vaccine following a similarly rare number of blood-clot cases.

She said there is an estimated additional 50 million doses that are in various stages of production and these could be completed in stages over the months of May and June.

He said the reason for the legal action was that some terms of the contract have not been respected and that the company has not been in a position to come up with a reliable strategy to ensure a timely delivery of doses.

Africa nations "don't have a choice", Nkengasong said, urging Malawi to use all its shots after authorities in the southern African nation said they would burn 16,000 AstraZeneca doses that expired earlier in April.

The country has administered less than half of more than 500,000 doses it received via COVAX, leading Victor Mithi, head of the Society of Medical Doctors in Malawi, to blame vaccine misconceptions.

Under the Defence Production Act invoked by former President Donald Trump to meet the Covid-19 crisis, raw materials were contracted by the government, which then supplied them to vaccine manufacturers to enable them to meet their commitments to the U.S. government.

Trying to increase coverage, Malawi's government has relaxed vaccine eligibility rules to include everyone aged 18 and older after initially focusing on priority groups such as health workers.

'Therefore the U.S.is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available'. But just over 230,000 doses have been administered since March 10.

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