Novavax is delaying an agreement to supply COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union due to lack of raw materials

Illustrative file image of vials labeled “COVID-19 Vaccine Coronavirus” and a syringe placed in front of the Novavax logo created February 9, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

Novavax postpones signing contract to supply its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union (EU), said against Reuters a community official has since been involved in the process the American biotech company warned that it has problems finding certain raw materials.

Extending the talks could further complicate the EU’s vaccination plans, as the bloc hoped to sign an agreement early this year for at least 100 million doses of Novavax vaccine, with an option for an additional 100 million.

The EU official, who asked not to be named because the talks are confidential, said so the company delayed signing an agreement for weeks, referring to legal issues in meetings with the bloc’s vaccine negotiators. “They are delaying the process of completing the contract,” he said Reuters the official who was present at the meetings.

Informally, a Novavax executive said the slow pace of the negotiations was justified because the company had production problems, the community official said.

A Novavax spokeswoman said in an email that talks with the EU on a supply agreement are continuing, but declined to elaborate. As he pointed out, the company is dealing with “the shortage of certain supplies of raw materials related to the pandemic”.

The European Commission, which coordinates talks with vaccine manufacturers, declined to comment on the situation.

FILE PHOTO: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission on March 17, 2021 (John Thys)
FILE PHOTO: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission on March 17, 2021 (John Thys)

Facing delivery problems from other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, especially AstraZeneca, the EU’s immunization campaign lags far behind the United States and the United Kingdom, a situation that has become more critical as a third wave of infections hit the block.

Novavax plans to produce the major components of its two-dose vaccines for the EU at several of its plants, including one in the Czech Republic, It produces antigens, the inactivated organisms that trigger an immune response.

Por Francesco Guarascio and Carl O’Donnell (Reuters)


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