AstraZeneca hits production milestone of 2bn Covid vaccine doses

Joseph B. Hash

AstraZeneca has become the first company in the western world to produce two billion doses of a Covid vaccine, despite a wave of criticism from EU leaders on the way it manufactured and supplied the jabs.

The British drugmaker said it reached the milestone this month, with total manufacturing second only to China’s home-grown Sinovac jab.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is a joint effort with the University of Oxford, is made in 15 countries, the biggest geographical manufacturing footprint of any Covid jabs. This comes despite accusations earlier this year from EU officials that AstraZeneca had been too slow to deliver supplies of the jab to the bloc.

Last week AstraZeneca said it will start taking a profit from its Covid jab as coronavirus was becoming endemic, with the virus expected to continue to circulate in a similar way to flu as life returns to normal.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said: “Our vaccine has played a huge role in tackling the biggest public health emergency of our lifetime. While much of the world still has to be vaccinated…today is a proud day and testament to what can be achieved when we all work together.”

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