Czech health minister Jan Blatny said Monday that AstraZeneca has asked Czech authorities about possible demand for more COVID-19 vaccines later this year, but any supplies would have to comply with EU agreements, as reported in This is Money.
The news follows a recent report that the Czech government was in talks with AstraZeneca about extra supplies in addition to the 3 million already ordered, but it was not clear if that would breach the country's EU commitment not to negotiate separately.
Jarmila Doleckova, AstraZeneca's health care affairs director for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, said the company was enquiring about preliminary interest in supplies on top of the 300 million doses agreed with the EU, which would fall under an optional 100 million increase.
"The current agreement with the EU allows for an additional increase by further 100 million doses," she said, adding "this question was thus raised so we could, in case of interest, secure in advance sufficient production capacity in the second half of 2021."
According to Blatny, many if not all EU member states had been contacted by the drugmaker to assess interest in supplies in the second half of this year under existing agreements with the bloc.
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