|The AstraZeneca pharmacy building in Luton, England|
This information was made by an EC spokesperson, but did not specify the number of vaccine doses produced by factories in the European Union (EU).
Specifically, since January 30, the time the application of the vaccine export monitoring mechanism to date, the EU has approved 37 registration papers for vaccine export to 21 countries. Previously, the EU exported millions of doses of vaccine to several countries such as the UK, Israel, China and Canada.
EC regulations include measures to advance surveillance and, in some cases, may ban exports of COVID-19 vaccines at production plants located in EU member states, amid tensions between the bloc. This and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca increased in connection with vaccine delivery problems.
The EU measure is only valid for factories that manufacture COVID-19 vaccines that are included in vaccine sales contracts signed between pharmaceutical companies and the EC. Accordingly, factories under this category operating in the EU member states will have to apply for a license to export vaccines to countries outside the bloc, and the export plan is scheduled for 3 months in advance.
Regarding AstraZeneca’s vaccine, on February 11, the company said it would update the new “version” of the vaccine in the fall, amid concerns that new variants of the SARS-CoV virus. -2 could be more contagious or resistant to existing vaccines.
AstraZeneca said months ago that it had worked with Oxford University partner to adapt the vaccine to deal with the new variants, and things are progressing rapidly.
A day earlier, AstraZeneca announced plans to boost production of the COVID-19 vaccine in the second quarter of this year to meet the needs of the European Union (EU). On the same day, WHO confirmed that COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company in collaboration with Oxford University in the UK can be used in people over 65 years old, and in areas where SARS-CoV- 2 is raging. The WHO statement comes after a recently published study in South Africa showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine was of limited effectiveness against the variant that appeared in the African country.
AstraZeneca vaccines make up a large part of the COVAX Vaccine Delivery Mechanism to poorer countries to ensure equitable vaccine distribution around the world. Currently, WHO and the United Nations have cooperated to distribute a total of 337.21 million doses of vaccine to about 145 countries in the first half of 2021 under the COVAX framework.