FOLLOWING a long wait for approval, doses of the much-anticipated Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine have finally started to arrive in the European Union.
Today France will begin administering its first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine after receiving them last night, while elsewhere in the EU Spain, Germany, Ireland and Austria are also expected to receive their first batches this weekend. Portugal has also announced it will receive its first deliveries early next week.
The news comes after AstraZeneca has been involved in a very public argument with the European Union over the past few weeks following the company’s announcement it would not be able to deliver on the numbers of vaccines it had initially promised.
Spain is this month expected to receive 1.8 million doses, almost half of the original amount planned after AstraZeneca were hit by supply issues.
The doses now arriving in Europe have been transported mostly by truck from various hubs across Europe.
The AstraZeneca jab is the third to be approved by the European Union, after the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were cleared last month.
Following three days of discussion, Spanish authorities last night said they could not approve the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in over 55s, citing lack of data over its effectiveness.
Meanwhile, Denmark, Germany, France, Norway and Sweden have also said they will not use the jab on over 65s.
A Norwegian health official claimed: “It’s not because the vaccine doesn’t work on those who are older, but because its documented effect is so limited for this age group.”
Researchers behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have denied claims the jab is ineffective on older people, claiming that just because data to show its effectiveness does not exist, it does not mean the vaccine is any less effective.
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