The European Commission is seeking clarification from Johnson Johnson over its completely unexpected announcement of delays in the delivery of its COVID 19 vaccine to the EU, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday.
The European health authority announced on Tuesday that it would delay the rollout of the vaccine in Europe and reviewed with U.S. health authorities cases of very rare blood clots in people after they received it.
The official said the company had confirmed at a meeting on Friday that it would aim to deliver 55 million doses to the European Union as contracted by the end of June.
The European Commission is in contact with the company to get clarification on the delay decision, the official added, declined to be named because discussions are confidential.
A spokesperson of the EU said the EU executive was investigating the matter but had no comment at this stage.
This is alarming news- sounds like it may end up the same way as AstraZeneca, an EU diplomat said.
AstraZeneca has cut the vaccine supply to the bloc by the end of June to 100 million doses from the 300 million promised under its supply contract, causing a dispute with the EU which remains unsolved.
J& J did not immediately reply to questions on whether the delay could affect delivery targets in the EU.
It began the rollout of its vaccine on Monday in Europe, a commission spokesman said earlier.
J& J's announcement followed the recommendation of the U.S. federal health agencies on Tuesday to pause the use of the vaccine after six women under 50 developed rare blood clots when given the shot.
On Friday, the European Medicines Agency said it was evaluating the rare blood clotting cases that have emerged in the United States. On Tuesday it was reiterated that any causal link was still unclear.
In March, Reuters reported that the company had informed EU officials that it could face difficulties in meeting its target for the second quarter. It delayed the start of the rollout in Europe originally planned from April 1. What is the best way to find out which is the better!