Romania signs up for 9 million doses of latecomer CureVac amid frustration about vaccine shortages

Romania has signed up to buy 9 million doses of the not yet approved CureVac Covid-19 vaccine, amid frustration about delays in vaccine shipments in Romania.

Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu said he was confident that the vaccine made by German biotech firm CureVac would be produced in large quantities once it was approved.

Romania’s Covid vaccine rollout has been pushed back 10 days after a shortfall of almost 120,000 shots caused by delays in shipments, authorities said.

Reports last week said that the EU would get 60% fewer doses of the vaccine than promised for January-March 2021. One company, Pfizer-BioNTech, said it was delaying shipments for the next few weeks because of work to increase capacity at its Belgian processing plant.

Spain has halted vaccinations in some place and Italy has threatened to sue Pfizer.

In Romania, people who had appointments for jabs on Thursday are being moved back to February 8, and subsequent appointments are also being shifted to later in February.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the European Commission on Wednesday said they would resolve a row over the company’s agreement to supply Covid-19 vaccines to the EU after the bloc accused AstraZeneca of breaching a „binding commitment”.

AstraZeneca denies breaking the terms of its contract with the EU, following the revelation that planned supplies are to be cut by 60 per cent compared to levels it had agreed to aim for. It blames glitches in production.

The health minister said while Romania has vaccinated more than half a million people, there were administration glitches, with a number of vaccine centers  that are not computerized, and are using a paper-based system.

“The fact that people do not register on the platform and go directly to the center is a vulnerability that we reported “ to the vaccine coordinator Valeriu Gheorghita, the minister said on Wednesday.

CureVac said Thursday it had set the price of its secondary offering at $90 for each of the 5 million shares it is placing, as it starts late-stage trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The proceeds will be used to fund a messenger RNA-vaccine program and expand its in-house manufacturing capacities, the company announced Monday.

CureVac has partnered up with Germany company Bayer on its vaccine, which entered phase 3 testing in  December.


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