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AstraZeneca to withdraw COVID-19 vaccine globally as demand falls

File picture of a nurse holding vials of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19

File picture of a nurse holding vials of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19
| Photo Credit: AP

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it had initiated the worldwide withdrawal of its COVID-19 vaccine due to a “surplus of available updated vaccines” since the pandemic.

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The company also said it would proceed to withdraw the vaccine Vaxzevria’s marketing authorisations within Europe.


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“As multiple, variant COVID-19 vaccines have since been developed there is a surplus of available updated vaccines,” the company said, adding that this had led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied.

According to media reports, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has previously admitted in court documents that the vaccine causes side-effects such as blood clots and low blood platelet counts.

The firm’s application to withdraw the vaccine was made on March 5 and came into effect on May 7, according to the Telegraph, which first reported the development.

London-listed AstraZeneca began moving into respiratory syncytial virus vaccines and obesity drugs through several deals last year after a slowdown in growth as COVID-19 medicine sales declined.

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