AstraZeneca's chief executive Soriot said it did its best to deliver as many doses as possible to the European Union, and while disappointed not to have delivered more, he was proud of the company's work and was "totally committed" to increasing supply.
"We never overpromised, we communicated what we thought we would achieve at the time", he told journalists, adding the company was not delivering the quantity of vaccine it was hoping to deliver to Europe.
Asked if he agreed that AstraZeneca had not overpromised, Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told national broadcaster RTE: 'Not for a second.
Earlier this month, Public Health England said the rollout had prevented more than 10,000 deaths of people aged 60 and older by the end of March.
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"As we follow the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, we believe that there will continue to be significant need for our mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and our variant booster candidates into 2022 and 2023".
The European Commission informed member states on Wednesday about the deal, which is expected to cover 1.8 billion additional Covid doses through 2023, according to a diplomatic note seen by Bloomberg. Only a handful are being rolled out. They are nowhere, ' he said.
But he pointed to the situation in India, which is experiencing a devastating wave of COVID-19 infections, where AstraZeneca's vaccine makes up 90% of the shots available.
"During the summer holidays at the latest, we will be able to vaccinate over 12-year-olds once the authorisation is there", he said.
"The objective is to make medicines, vaccines and diagnostics available as rapidly as possible to address the emergency", the World Health Organization said in a statement.
Peter English, a specialist in communicable disease control, said the findings released on Friday confirmed "that the vaccine is not 100% effective" and were consistent with other data showing the overall positive impact of Britain's vaccination programme.