EU still set to get 300 mn vaccine doses in Q2 - Schinas

EC VP says AstraZeneca case won't change distribution

(see related stories on Astrazeneca, vaccines) (ANSA) - ROME, MAR 16 - European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said Tuesday that the EU is still set to get 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the second quarter of this year, regardless of uncertainty about the AstraZeneca jab.
    "What is happening with AstraZeneca does not put into doubt the distribution of the doses, but their use," Schinas told ANSA in an interview.
    "We put this number of doses at the disposal of the member states, but we don't manage their vaccination plans.
    "It is reasonable to say that we remain on target because Pfizer is producing a lot more and because Johnson & Johnson has a new agreement with a site in Germany for 'fill and finish'".
    He said the EC will let the European Medicines Agency (EMA) decide on AstraZeneca, amid fears of links to blood clots.
    "Science guides the authorization of vaccines in the European system, not politics," Schinas said.
    "This wave of doubt puts the EMA at the centre but there is only one road for the European Commission, the road of the EMA.
    "We base our policy on science.
    "This is the European model.
    "The agency was created so that states would follow its recommendations not vice-versa "The EMA is sticking by its original assessment for now.
    "The agency is also talking to the British experts.
    "Thursday will be the day of truth".
    He said that the EC was not playing any geopolitical games with respect to the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
    "Our enemy is the virus and we work for the European citizens, we don't work against anyone," Schinas said.
    "If Sputnik V is approved by the EMA and there is an appetite among the member States for the Commission to take action, we'll see". (ANSA).


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