European Commission sues AstraZeneca over delayed delivery of COVID-19 vaccine

Elysee avenue during the New Year's Eve as a 8:00 pm-6:00 am curfew is implemented in France

The European Union (EU) is gearing up to "respond rapidly" to India's worrying COVID-19 situation, which has made it the current epicenter of the pandemic, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday.

The European Union said Monday it has launched legal action against pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca over coronavirus vaccine delivery shortfalls that hampered efforts to kickstart inoculations across the bloc.

Signalling a major change in European Union policy as vaccinations step up worldwide, von der Leyen gave no timetable, but the Times said that the new rules could be in place by this summer.

"The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines", von der Leyen said, according to the Times report.

The number of blood clot or thrombosis cases after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine jab is low and rare, said the Health Ministry's (MOH) Covid-19 Vaccine Candidate Selection Sub-Committee (JKKPCV) chairman, Dr Kalaiarasu M Periasamy.

"We are making progress addressing the technical challenges and our output is improving, but the production cycle of a vaccine is very long which means these improvements take time to result in increased finished vaccine doses".

Oxygen crisis shows human lives not important for Centre, says Delhi HC
Hospitals in India are scrambling for oxygen, supplies , and beds for Covid-19 patients amid a tidal wave of new infections. India has administered more than 130 million vaccine so far and from 1 May, all adults will be eligible for a vaccine.

Von der Leyen gave no timetable, but The Times said that new rules could be in place by the summer.

Resumption of travel would depend "on the epidemiological situation, but the situation is improving in the United States, as it is, hopefully, also improving in the European Union", she added.

The EU has now started the process of checking its own citizens with "digital green certificates". It has nearly been a year since most of the countries across the globe shut down nonessential travels to put a cap on the spread of the COVID-19.

Brussels has said that discussions on possible worldwide vaccine certificates are continuing, which could take the form of an official government vaccination certificate issued by the traveller's own country, which would then be accepted by other nations.

The agency said about 80% of countries will now carry the "Do not travel" label, a Level 4.

In addition to EU Chief and Germany, several other countries have also hinted at helping India out of the crisis - namely Australia, Russia, US, UK, Pakistan, Singapore, France among others.

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