London, Jan 29 (AFP/APP): Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on Friday welcomed the European Union regulator’s approval of its coronavirus vaccine, although the two groups remain locked in a dispute over its supply.
“Today‘s recommendation underscores the value of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine which is not only effective and well-tolerated, but also easy to administer,” said AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the bloc approve the jab for use on all adults, in contrast to member state Germany, whose vaccines advisory panel advised against its use among the over-65s due to a lack of data.
The vaccine was developed in conjunction with researchers at the University of Oxford. Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, called the EMA’s recommendation “an important milestone”.
“It was a further endorsement that, after the rigorous scrutiny of regulators, the vaccine can be used to help protect populations from the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
The approval adds another twist to the increasingly bitter row between Brussels and AstraZeneca, which has admitted it will only be able to deliver a fraction of the doses promised to the EU in the short-term due to production problems.
The EU on Friday released a redacted version of its contract with AstraZeneca, while announcing a mechanism that could allow it to reject the export of vaccines made on European soil.
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