EU faces MORE vaccine chaos as Novavax deal delayed – UK has already secured 60m doses

Novavax COVID-19 vaccine discussed by disease expert

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An EU official involved in the talks made the revelation after the U.S. biotech company warned it was struggling to source some raw materials. UK trials have indicated Novavax’s jab has an 89 percent effectiveness rate.  Prolonging the talks might further complicate the EU’s vaccination plans as the bloc had planned to sign a deal early this year for at least 100 million doses of Novavax’s vaccine, with an option for another 100 million.

The EU official, who asked not to named as the talks are confidential, said the company had postponed signing a deal for weeks, citing legal issues in meetings with the bloc’s vaccine negotiators.

“They are slowing down the process of finishing the contract,” the official, who attended the meetings, told Reuters.

Informally, a Novavax executive had said a slow pace in negotiations was warranted because the company was having production problems, the EU official said.

 

The EU official, who asked not to named as the talks are confidential, said the company had postponed signing a deal for weeks, citing legal issues in meetings with the bloc’s vaccine negotiators.

the official, who attended the meetings,”They are slowing down the process of finishing the contract.”

Informally, a Novavax executive had said a slow pace in negotiations was warranted because the company was having production problems, the EU official said.

 

A Novavax spokeswoman said in an email that talks with the EU over a supply deal continue, but declined to say more about the discussions.

She said the company was working “through some pandemic-related raw materials supply shortages”, without giving details.

The European Commission, which coordinates talks with vaccine makers, declined to comment.

Facing supply problems from other COVID-19 vaccine makers, notably AstraZeneca, the EU’s immunisation campaign is lagging far behind those in the United States and Britain, a situation that has become more critical as a third wave of infections sweeps the bloc.

Novavax is planning to produce key components of its two-dose vaccines for the EU in several of its factories, it said, including one in the Czech Republic, which makes antigens, the inactivated organisms that trigger an immune response.

The EU official said production capacity at the plant, the only one in the EU, was too small the meet the needs of the 27-nation bloc.

(More to follow)

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