The European Union may not renew its coronavirus vaccine contracts with the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca, French Industry Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said on Friday.
“The decision is not clear” but, after the decision of Denmark on Wednesday to abandon this vaccine, “it is the greatest probability” that Europe does not make new orders, said the minister on the radio RMC.
New vaccines expected
“We have not started discussions with Johnson & Johnson and with AstraZeneca for a new contract, where we have already started discussions with Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna,” she said.
“We have a vaccine portfolio with messenger RNA which works very well and has few side effects, we are going to have new vaccines, hopefully, Novavax, Sanofi, which are recombinant proteins that have very good results and we have 50 years of hindsight on this type of technology, ”she explained. “These vaccines will arrive in the second half of the year, so we will see a lot of doses on different platforms to meet all the needs.”
“Rare” but “serious” side effects
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, argued this week that Pfizer-BioNTech had “proved to be a reliable partner, which has honored its commitments and is responsive to our needs”, countering the problems of delivery of AstraZeneca, developed with the University of Oxford.
Denmark became on Wednesday the first European country to announce the abandonment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, justifying this choice by the “rare” but “serious” side effects despite the green lights of the European regulator and the WHO to use it . Denmark is thus continuing its immunization campaign with only Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.