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Where is the AstraZeneca vaccine made? How Oxford Covid jab is manufactured, after UK supply concerns

The i 27/01/2021 Alex Finnis
a bottle of water: The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been hit by production issues (Photo: Getty) © Provided by The i The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been hit by production issues (Photo: Getty)

The EU is threatening to restrict vaccine exports to the UK and other nations amid a row with AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca, which produces a vaccine with Oxford University, informed the EU that it was falling behind its supply target.

In response, the EU is warning that it could tighten exports of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which has been developed by Germany and the United States.

This could affect UK stocks, which are supplied by Pfizer’s Belgian factory.

UK ‘confident’ of still meeting target

While admitting supplies were “tight”, Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said he was “confident” Pfizer will continue to supply the UK.

“Pfizer have made sure that they have always delivered for us, they will continue to do so,” he said.

Nadhim Zahawi wearing a suit and tie: Nadhim Zahawi has said he is confident the UK can still hit its targets (Photo: Getty) © Provided by The i Nadhim Zahawi has said he is confident the UK can still hit its targets (Photo: Getty)

“They have made a very important announcement on the equitable supply of the whole world, including the European Union, and I’m sure they will deliver for the European Union, the United Kingdom and for the rest of the world.

“We have got 367 million vaccines that we have ordered from seven different suppliers, so I’m confident we will meet our target and continue to vaccinate the whole of the adult population by the autumn.”

Where is the AstraZeneca vaccine made?

The “vast majority” of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be manufactured in the UK, Ian McCubbin, manufacturing lead for the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, has said.

There are factories producing the vaccine in both Oxford and Keele.

AstraZeneca also has some plants in Europe, with sites in Germany and the Netherlands producing the jab.

The delay in production is reportedly down to a plant in Belgium, which is run by one of AstraZeneca’s partner firms, being unable to hit its targets.

Row with EU explained

The EU signed a deal with AstraZeneca for 300 million doses of the vaccine in August.

The jab is yet to be approved in the EU, though confirmation is expected before the end of the month.

Around 80 million doses were due to arrive across the EU by March, but AstraZeneca is saying that production shortages mean this number may be closer to 31 million.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has requested “a detailed planning of vaccine deliveries” from the pharmaceutical firm, adding that the EU would “take any action required to protect its citizens”.

She said: “In the future, all companies producing vaccines against Covid-19 in the EU will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries.”

This now includes the UK, since it has left the EU.

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