Astrazeneca denies vaccine delivery shortfall to EU, Italy - paper

Italy would receive more than 5mln shots by the end of March

  
Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020.

Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

MILAN - AstraZeneca will deliver 180 million COVID-19 vaccines to Europe in the second quarter, of which 20 million to Italy, the head of its Italian unit was quoted as saying on Thursday, dismissing reports of a possible shortfall.

Lorenzo Wittum, the CEO and chairman of Astrazeneca in Italy, told daily Il Corriere della Sera in an interview Italy would receive more than 5 million shots by the end of March, fewer than the 8 million previously agreed, leading to a total of 25 million doses by June.

Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an EU official directly involved in talks with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, that AstraZeneca expected to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply the European Union in the second quarter. 

Wittum also said the pharmaceutical company was considering the possibility of administering a third dose and was working on new versions of the vaccine.

(Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia, editing by Agnieszka Flak) ((mariapia.quaglia@tr.com; +39 02 66129638;))

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