AstraZeneca, German firm to try speeding vaccine delivery

Drugmaker AstraZeneca says it will work with German firm IDT Biologika to increase shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union this spring following a heated dispute with the bloc over delayed vaccine deliveries

LONDON — Drugmaker AstraZeneca says it will work with German firm IDT Biologika to increase shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union this spring following a heated dispute with the bloc over delayed vaccine deliveries.

In the longer term, AstraZeneca also plans a joint investment to expand IDT Biologika’s plant in Dessau, Germany, by building up to five 2,000-liter bioreactors capable of making tens of millions of doses of vaccine each month, the companies said. The additional capacity is expected to be operational by the end of 2022. IDT Biologika said the extent of AstraZeneca’s participation in the project is subject to future negotiations.

The announcement comes after EU leaders demanded that AstraZeneca live up to its contracts with the bloc following the drugmaker’s announcement that it was reducing initial shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine due to production issues.

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