AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine: A look at recent challenges

Source: M-Foto, Shutterstock

Summary

  • The US stockpile of AstraZeneca’s vaccine has increased to over 20 million doses, even though it’s unlikely the shot would be a part of the US vaccination campaign.
  • One US-based AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturer has been asked to suspend vaccine production after the facility ruined J&J’s vaccine.
  • The EU regulator stated that it had found some links of blood clots after the administration of AstraZeneca’s jab.

The COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc (LON:AZN) has been a part of controversy amid several nations suspending the vaccine's use, including the recent ban in Australia.

According to media reports, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine stock in the US has increased to over 20 million doses, even as it seems that the shot is unlikely to be a part of the nation’s domestic vaccination campaign.

Source: © Mikemareen| Megapixl.com

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yet for its two-dose vaccine regimen. The Company faces safety questions overseas and investigation from the US regulators who have already criticized the vaccine for shortcomings during clinical trials and partial data releases.

Moreover, Americans are getting three other authorized COVID-19 vaccines at a rate of ~3 million shots every day, with hundreds of millions of additional doses set to be delivered by August 2021.

ALSO READ: Australia restricts AstraZeneca’s vaccine rollout, to get third COVID-19 vaccine shortly

AstraZeneca’s vaccine US stock: a question to Biden

The concern is what will the US do with AZN’s vaccine as the Company already has over 20 million shots of its vaccine on hand. Besides, there are millions of doses in some production for the US order.

The US allies have sought doses from the North American nation’s stockpile. AstraZeneca’s vaccines are less expensive and could be used to immunize people in low-income countries that cannot pay for Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccines.

The US halts AZN’s vaccine manufacturing at the Baltimore plant

Last week, the US Health and Human Services Department halted manufacturing of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine at a facility in Baltimore.

The move was announced days after the facility damaged ~15 million Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) vaccine doses.

Furthermore, Joe Biden has announced that all adults in the US would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by 19 April 2021.

EMA found a possible link to blood coagulation with AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine

On 7 April 2021, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced the finding of a possible link between AstraZeneca's vaccine and blood clots reported in people who had received the jab.

Moreover, safety concerns have prompted over a dozen nations to suspend AstraZeneca’s vaccine use in recent weeks. It has already been given to millions of individuals in Europe. The EMA stated that reports are linking to a brain blood coagulation disorder in a few dozen recipients.

The EU regulator also stated that people who have received AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should ask for immediate medical assistance if they develop any symptoms related to blood clots with low blood platelets.

Furthermore, EMA’s safety committee has suggested that unusual blood coagulation with low blood platelets should be listed as a very rare side effect of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.


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