AstraZeneca denies pulling out of EU vaccine meeting as supply row heats up

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of Astrazeneca Plc attends the CEO council at the Great Hall

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of Astrazeneca Plc, has denied his company has pulled out of a meeting with EU representatives - Credit: PA

AstraZeneca (AZ) has denied pulling out of an EU vaccine conference, its chief executive has said as a row over supply continues to heat up.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot withdrew company officials from a planned meeting with EU representatives on Wednesday, Sky News reported.

The company denied the claims though - and said it was still scheduled.

This comes as the European Commission last night threatened to impose controls on vaccines following criticism of a slow rollout in the EU.

European health commissioner Stella Kyriakides accused AstraZeneca, which works with Oxford University on its vaccine, of failing to give a valid explanation for failing to deliver doses to the bloc.

The Pfizer vaccine is manufactured in Europe but the bulk of the AstraZeneca jab meant for the UK is manufactured on British soil.

Soriot has rejected the suggestion the firm was selling doses the highest bidder “because we make no profit everywhere” under the agreement signed with Oxford University.

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He admitted there had been "teething problems" but he said his teams had been "working around the clock" to fix them.

Soriot also said the fact that the UK supply contract was signed three months before the European vaccine deal, meant there had been "an extra three months to fix all the UK glitches we experienced".

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