Some 29 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are blocked at the Catalent pharmaceutical plant in Anagni, near Rome, some of which had to be shipped to the UK, an investigation has found. of the European Union, reported La Stampa.
The Italian newspaper specifies that it is an amount for which Brussels and London would be competing since for the EU it is “a supply equivalent to twice the doses received so far from the Anglo-Swedish company (16.6 million).
Meanwhile, for the British, this quantity of vaccines is essential to guarantee the second dose to almost fifteen million citizens.
The blockade of this impressive number of vaccines was discovered thanks to the visit of the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, to the Leiden plant in the Netherlands, managed by Halix. This is one of two plants the pharmaceutical company uses to produce the drug in the EU (the other is in Seneffe, Belgium).
The problem is that the Halix plant has not yet obtained authorization from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), so without its approval, the doses cannot be delivered to EU countries.
This, however, is not applicable to the United Kingdom which, in fact, in the last months of last year would have imported the vaccines produced in the Dutch factory.
But in the absence of a concrete answer to Breton’s questions about what was done with the doses that were produced in this factory, the investigations that led to the Italian plant began.
“It was at that moment that the French commissioner became suspicious and immediately reported the situation to the Italian authorities, who carried out inspections at the Catalent plant in Anagni, used by AstraZeneca to fill and finish each bottle,” explains the newspaper. from Turin.