08 May 2024, 16:02

AstraZeneca withdraws Covid vaccine as demand dives

LONDON, May 8, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca on 
Wednesday said it was withdrawing Covid vaccine Vaxzevria, one of the first 
produced in the deadly pandemic, citing "commercial reasons" following a 
slump in demand.

"As multiple, variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed there is a 
surplus of available updated vaccines. This has led to a decline in demand 
for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied," an 
AstraZeneca spokesperson added in a statement. 

"We will now work with regulators and our partners to align on a clear path 
forward to conclude this chapter and significant contribution to the Covid-19 

AstraZeneca rapidly developed the successful Covid-19 jab during the 
coronavirus pandemic which erupted in the first half of 2020.

Vaxzevria, developed alongside Oxford University, was at first offered at 
cost but Astra decided in late 2021 to sell it for profit.

But the world pivoted towards mRNA vaccines, particularly the one produced by 
US drugs giant Pfizer and German peer BioNTech, after rare blood-clot 
problems with Astra's jab increased public hesitancy about taking it.

Sales collapsed further as global Covid restrictions were fully lifted 
worldwide and the world emerged from the global health crisis.

The AstraZeneca spokesperson said the group had begun the process from taking 
it off the market in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA) region.

The company will work with other regulators globally to start market 
authorisation withdrawals for the Vaxzevria "where no future commercial 
demand for the vaccine is expected".

The spokesperson said that, according to independent estimates, "over 6.5 
million lives were saved in the first year of use alone" and more than three 
billion doses were supplied globally.

"We are incredibly proud of the role Vaxzevria played in ending the global 
pandemic," the spokesperson said.

"Our efforts have been recognised by governments around the world and are 
widely regarded as being a critical component of ending the global pandemic. 

  • Latest News
  • Most View