AstraZeneca Pulls Plug On Vaxzevria COVID-19 Vaccine Amid Surplus of Updated Vaccines

AstraZeneca AZN has declared a worldwide cessation of its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, due to an “excess of updated vaccines.”

What Happened: The company began the withdrawal process on Tuesday, attributing the decision to the proliferation and availability of multiple variants of COVID-19 vaccines, which have resulted in reduced demand for Vaxzevria, Reuters reported on Wednesday. As a result, production and supply of the vaccine have been discontinued.

In addition to this, AstraZeneca is set to revoke Vaxzevria’s marketing authorizations within Europe. The request to withdraw the vaccine was lodged on Mar. 5 and took effect on May 7, as reported by the Telegraph.

It is worth noting that AstraZeneca has previously conceded in court documents that Vaxzevria can induce side effects such as blood clots and low blood platelet counts.

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Following a deceleration in growth due to falling COVID-19 medicine sales, AstraZeneca has pivoted towards respiratory syncytial virus vaccines and obesity drugs, securing numerous deals in these sectors last year.

Why It Matters: This decision comes after AstraZeneca admitted in April that its vaccine could cause blood clotting side effects in rare cases. The company faced a class action lawsuit alleging that its vaccine caused death and serious injury in several cases.

Despite the controversy surrounding Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca reported strong first-quarter sales of $12.68 billion, up 17% year over year. This was driven by an 18% increase in Product Sales and continued growth in Alliance Revenue from partnered medicines.

Price Action: According to Benzinga Pro, AstraZeneca closed 0.74% higher at $76.32 on Tuesday.

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Image by Lydia Ilyakhina via Shutterstock

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