Friday, 05 March, 2021

Morocco gets first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine

50,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India arrives in Seychelles AstraZeneca: Coronavirus vaccine deliveries to EU reduced
Gustavo Carr | 24 January, 2021, 02:03

Ireland had expected to receive 600,000 doses of the vaccine by April; however, that could now fall to 217,500.

The decrease will further hamper Europe's Covid-19 vaccination drive after Pfizer and partner BioNTech slowed supplies of their vaccine this week, saying the move was needed because of work to ramp up production.

AstraZeneca has warned EU officials that the delivery of vaccines in the first quarter of this year will be delayed due to issues with European manufacturing.

The AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses, but unlike some other vaccines it does not need ultra-cold storage, making it easier to roll out in hot countries and remote locations. He said Italian authorities were considering taking legal action against Pfizer, AP reported.

India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, began exporting the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to neighbouring Asian countries on Wednesday.

Belgium had been expecting 1.5 million doses of the vaccine, which has still to be approved, by March, but would instead get around 650,000 doses.

"We are determined to provide more predictability and stability to the delivery process, and we look forward to more vaccines and more doses coming on stream soon", Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said on Thursday.

Its vaccine is being rolled out in the United Kingdom, but the European Union has not yet approved its use.

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Early December, King Mohammed VI had given his high instructions to the Government to adopt free vaccine against the COVID-19 for the benefit of all Moroccans.

It's after the company has told the European Commission it's cutting supplies to member states by 60%, due to reduced production at a manufacturing site.

European Union countries have administered more than five million doses to citizens to date.

AstraZeneca said in a statement that if European Union approval is granted, the "initial volumes will be lower than anticipated". I don't really know what's happened, there does seem to be unequal distribution of vaccines across the country, between the hospital groups.

A Commission spokesperson told Euronews prior to Hungary's announcement that "member states may have a separate negotiation if it's about a vaccine that's not covered by the portfolio if it's with a company that we are not having negotiations with".

Morocco has also ordered vaccine doses from Chinese SinoPharm.

Stormy weather this week caused flooding around the North Wales plant where the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is manufactured.