EU has not renewed its order for AstraZeneca vaccine

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AstraZeneca; Vaccine

The EU Commission did not renew its order for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, the European Union’s Internal Market Commissioner said.

“We have not renewed the order for after June. We’ll see what will happen next,” Thierry Breton told French radio France Inter.

The announcement comes one day after the European Union cemented its support for Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine by agreeing to a massive contract extension for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023.

Two weeks ago, the EU launched legal proceedings against AstraZeneca for allegedly failing to respect the terms of its contract with the 27-nation bloc.

The AstraZeneca vaccine had been central to Europe’s immunisation campaign and a linchpin in the global strategy to get vaccines to poorer countries since it is cheaper and easier to use than the Pfizer vaccine.

Across the Channel, Britain has made the AstraZeneca vaccine the centrepiece of its vaccination campaign.

It comes as EU member states are aiming to agree on a system for digital vaccine certificates for international travel by June 21st, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said.

Some member states will begin using the system to ease restrictions surrounding non-essential travel, according to The Irish Times, however, others may wait until August following an agreement there would be a six-week period to introduce the new initiative.

Following a meeting of EU leaders, Mr Rutte said: “This timetable now would be that we all hope that by the 21st of June…there is an agreement.”

He also said the Netherlands would introduce the system “as quickly as possible after that date”.

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