AstraZeneca Pulls COVID Vaccine from EU, Begins Global Withdrawal | 08 May, 2024

Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca will withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine worldwide, UK-based media outlet The Telegraph said in a report published Tuesday (local time). The report said that the vaccine can no longer be used in the European Union after the company voluntarily withdrew its “marketing authorisation”.

AstraZeneca submitted the application to withdraw the vaccine on March 5 and the application came into effect on May 7. The pharma major will make similar applications in the UK and other countries that had approved the vaccine in the coming months. Their vaccine for Covid was known as Vaxzevria.

AstraZeneca said that it initiated the worldwide withdrawal due to commercial reasons due to a “surplus of available updated vaccines” for COVID-19. It said that the vaccine was superseded by updated vaccines that tackle new variants.

The drugmaker faces a £100 million lawsuit in the UK over claims that the Covid jab caused deaths and injuries to several people. It admitted in court documents in February that its vaccine Covishield can “in very rare cases, cause TTS or Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome”.

TTS leads to blood clots and a low blood platelet count in humans and has been linked to over 81 deaths in the UK. AstraZeneca said that the decision to withdraw Covishield is not linked to the court case.

“According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over three billion doses were supplied globally. Our efforts have been recognised by governments around the world and are widely regarded as being a critical component of ending the global pandemic. As multiple, variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed, there is a surplus of available updated vaccines. 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 pandemic,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

(Source: News 18)