As the Italian newspaper “La Stampa” reported, the warehouse with the 29 million vaccine doses was discovered in the Italian bottling company Catalent in Anagni. According to information from the dpa, the vaccine was manufactured in the Dutch factory Halix in Leiden and then bottled in Italy. It is said to be intended for export to Great Britain.
The Italian authorities, however, stated that the vaccines were intended for Belgium – but not for its population, but possibly for an AstraZeneca distribution center. What is true of this is still unclear.
Risky vaccination strategy
What is explosive, however, is that the British-Swedish vaccine manufacturer Astrazeneca is very far behind with deliveries to the European Union. Instead of up to 220 million cans, the company wants to deliver only 100 million to the EU states by the middle of the year.
A real dispute over vaccinations has therefore broken out between the EU and Great Britain. A tightening of the rules passed by the EU on Wednesday stipulates that countries that do not let any vaccine out of the country themselves should in future no longer receive one from the EU. This mainly means Great Britain.
Were the 29 million doses of vaccine a secret stash for Britain? They urgently need a vaccine there. Because as the «Spiegel» writes, Boris Johnson’s previous vaccination success is based on a risky strategy: Incoming vaccines are needed immediately – a supply for the necessary second vaccination is hardly kept. Almost 42 percent of Britons have already received a first dose of vaccine, but only 3.5 percent have received the second.
“Not correct to call this a supply”
After the allegations, Astrazeneca also spoke up and rejected all allegations. A spokeswoman said on Wednesday at the request of the German press agency that the doses were different contingents of the vaccine that were waiting for approval by quality control.
Of these, 13 million doses are intended for poor countries as part of the Covax program. They were produced outside the EU and bottled in bottles at the Agnani plant. Another 16 million should go to Europe after the release, a large part of it in March. No exports are currently planned except to Covax countries.
“It is not correct to call this a supply,” said the spokeswoman. The process of making vaccines is very complex and time-consuming. In particular, the vaccine doses would have to wait for approval by quality control after the bottles have been filled, it said. (SDA / bra)
Published: March 24th, 2021, 1:46 p.m.
Last updated: 03/24/2021, 11:11 PM