Malawi Broadcasting Corporation
Health International News

AstraZeneca quits manufacturing Covid-19 jabs

Pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca, has stopped manufacturing and distributing its Covid-19 vaccines, citing low demand and change of the company’s vaccine development priorities.

European Medicines Agency confirmed the development in a statement, saying it has pulled off the authorisation for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 jab, at the company’s request.

However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said this will slow down the Covid-19 vaccination rate in Africa, which could have serious consequences for public health.

Nonetheless, Ghebreyesus said the withdrawal of AstraZeneca’s vaccine could in the long run create opportunities for African countries to develop their own vaccines, which could help to address the region’s vaccines needs and reduce dependence on external suppliers.

During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 and 2022, Malawi received over 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine from the Japanese government under the COVAX facility, according to the Ministry of Health records.

By Alufisha Fischer

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