AstraZeneca says the EU has been too slow to place orders while EU officials are pushing back against what they call “the logic of first come first served.” European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides lashed out, saying, “That may work at the neighborhood butchers but not in contracts, and not in our advanced purchase agreements.”
“We lose people everyday. These are not numbers, they are not statistics, these are persons … pharmaceutical companies, vaccine developers, have moral, societal and contractual responsibilities which they need to uphold,” she added.
EU officials have declined to specify the scale of the vaccine shortfall, but it’s clear that it is large enough to cause problems. German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned today the country will face shortages for at least another 10 weeks. Italy had to revise its vaccination program, saying the over-80s would be vaccinated four weeks later than previously planned. In Spain, the regional government of Madrid has stopped administering first doses of the vaccine for the next two weeks to ensure there is enough to provide second doses for those who already got their first shots.
Manufacturing and distributing hundreds of millions of vaccines from scratch was always going to be hard. But while the rich countries of the world fight over the supplies, the developing world is being left behind.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q: Why can’t other companies manufacture the approved vaccines?
A: When asked about US President Joe Biden’s use of the Defense Production Act, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the purpose was to “facilitate” the process of administering vaccines, and not to make more doses.
Some cooperation is possible though. Sanofi said it will fill and pack millions of doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine from July in an effort to help meet the huge demand for the US drugmaker’s shots.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Could post-vaccine life mean we return to normal? Not just yet
The UK was the first country to begin inoculating its citizens with a fully vetted and authorized Covid-19 vaccine, and is among the countries with the highest number of shots administered per capita.
Covid-19 numbers are dipping in the US, even as variants lurk and the vaccine rollout lags
Yet Covid-19 cases and hospitalization numbers have been falling. Vaccines are here and warmer weather is approaching.
Manaus is collapsing again. Is a new coronavirus variant to blame?
Manaus, the capital city of Brazil’s Amazonas state and its current coronavirus epicenter, is often referred to as the gateway to the Amazon, its main link to the rest of the world by plane or boat.
Pulling off Tokyo 2020 will be a logistical nightmare … and the clock is ticking
UFC had “fight island.” The NBA had “the bubble.” Tokyo 2020 might need a miracle.
ON OUR RADAR
- Regeneron says its monoclonal antibody cocktail works against the new coronavirus variants.
- The son of polio vaccine creator Jonas Salk got the Covid-19 vaccine. He wants you to do it, too.
- British people arriving home from “high risk” countries will have to undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine at their own expense. Non-UK residents will be refused entry.
- Millions in US vaccine research funds went to unrelated office expenses instead, HHS inspector general says.
- Washington state hospital has apologized after inviting donors to sign up for a Covid-19 vaccine.
- Oklahoma state officials are trying to return the state’s $2 million stockpile of hydroxychloroquine.
- Sekou Smith, an NBA reporter and analyst for more than two decades, has died from Covid-19. He was 48.
Think of masks as the newest trendy accessory that can save your life — and the lives of those you love. But instead of what pattern, logo or slogan you display, choose your mask based on its effectiveness against the deadly coronavirus in the environment you are in.
“When we think about risk for severity, it’s the fact that so many people of color in our country are living with multiple chronic diseases because of the chronic inability to access high quality health care.” — Dr. Marcella Nunez Smith, chair of White House’s Health Equity Task Force