The European Union said Wednesday that it is expecting 50 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses earlier than expected, as the United States said it would continue a pause in vaccinations using the Johnson & Johnson shot for at least another week so regulators can assess possible blood clot links.
Rival drugmaker AstraZeneca faced a similar setback after Denmark banned its use, also over blood clot links, reports BSS.
Concerns over using the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines have dampen hopes that mass immunizations will lead to a swift exit from the global pandemic that has killed nearly three million people and ravaged the global economy.
Nevertheless there was some good news as BioNTech/Pfizer announced that 50 million doses that were due to arrive in Europe in late 2021 will instead start arriving as early as this month.
More than 820 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have now been administered globally. Demand continues to outstrip supply, and countries are scrambling to secure the much-needed jabs for their people.
The race to secure vaccines has sparked diplomatic rows, notably between Britain and the EU after the bloc accused London of hoarding jabs. Australia has also accused the EU of falling short on promised doses.