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AstraZeneca's chief confirms pledge of 40 million COVID-19 shots to EU in first quarter - Metro US

AstraZeneca’s chief confirms pledge of 40 million COVID-19 shots to EU in first quarter

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, attends an interview with Reuters in Shanghai

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – AstraZeneca is trying to deliver 40 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the EU by the end of March, less than half the amount it promised in its contract for the quarter, CEO Pascal Soriot told European lawmakers on Thursday.

The pledge was in line with previous statements from the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, which has long said it will not be able to fulfil the target of 90 million doses in the first quarter.

The EU, which has fallen far behind the United States and former member Britain in vaccinating its public, has repeatedly urged the firm to deliver more.

“I am disappointed that lower-than-expected output in our dedicated European supply chain has affected our ability to deliver,” Soriot said. “We are doing everything that we can to deliver 40 mln doses in the first quarter of 2021.”

In his initial statement to the EU Parliament he made no reference to deliveries in the second quarter of the year, which should amount to 180 million doses under the contract.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Peter Graff)

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