AstraZeneca plans 2 million doses a week of vaccine for UK
London, Jan 2: Amidst growing pressure over sufficient supplies of COVID-19 vaccines in the UK, pharmaceutical companies have hit back at government claims that access to enough jabs was a “limiting factor”, insisting there was no issue at their end.
While AstraZeneca says it expects 2 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine to be ready each week in just over a fortnight, Pfizer BioNTech said the number of doses it has now sent to the UK is “in the millions”. The Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs are the two vaccines against coronavirus that are approved for rollout in the UK. “The plan is then to build it up fairly rapidly; by the third week of January we should get to 2 million a week,” an AstraZeneca source told ‘The Times’ newspaper.
“The deliveries to the UK are on track and progressing according to our agreed schedule,” a Pfizer spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, there are growing questions on whether Britain could have had more supplies ready to go, similar to how India has created a massive vaccine stockpile in advance, according to ‘The Daily Telegraph’.
Pune-based Serum Institute of India has a licensing tie-up for the Oxford vaccine. It has emerged that India has already managed to stockpile 50 million doses of the jabs.
“The rate-limiting factor at the moment, as they say, is supply not distribution,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a Downing Street briefing earlier in the week. The issues around supply are being raised as the UK is set to begin the rollout of the Oxford vaccine among the elderly and frontline workers from Monday. (PTI)