European Commission (EC) has decided against renewing contracts of the UK-based AstraZeneca and the US-based Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
According to various reports, the EC, after deliberating with the member countries of the EU, has decided that the supply contracts of AstraZeneca and J&J will not be extended once they expire at the end of 2021.
The latest development comes a day after the US, EU, and South Africa decided to suspend the use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure after a number of recipients in the US suffered rare blood clots in the days that followed.
Earlier this month, more than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, paused the use of AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus vaccine as a precautionary measure after a number of people suffered blood clots and brain hemorrhages following vaccine administration.
6 out of 6.8 million people in the US developed Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), a rare type of blood clotting in the brain, within 6 to 13 days after receiving the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. 44 out of 9.2 million people across the EU developed CVST within 10 to 14 days after receiving AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Reports claim that EC has now turned its attention to the COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, such as Pfizer and Moderna.
EU is currently holding talks for the supply of billions of doses of COVID-19 of Pfizer and Moderna for 2022 and beyond.