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

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(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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