AstraZeneca to withdraw COVID-19 vaccine worldwide due to low demand

The vaccine has already been pulled from the European market at the company's request.
AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine
Posted at 1:32 PM, May 08, 2024

Drugmaker AstraZeneca is reportedly pulling its COVID-19 vaccine from global markets due to a surplus of updated alternatives that have led to a drop-off in demand. The news was first reported by The Telegraph.

In an update on the European Medicines Agency website, the regulator said approval of the pharmaceutical giant's vaccine — Vaxzevria — has now been withdrawn at the company's request and the product is no longer authorized to be sold in EU countries. AstraZeneca said in a statement to CNN that it is working with regulators to withdraw Vaxzevria authorization in other countries as well.

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The vaccine was first approved by European regulators early on in the pandemic and had more than $4 billion in global sales in 2021, according to company earnings statements. However, concerns over the safety of Vaxzevria grew after several countries suspended its use when blood clots were detected in a small number of vaccinated patients.

Regulators later concluded that Vaxzevria did not increase the overall risk of clots. But concerns about the vaccine remained and many countries resorted to the more effective shots made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

AstraZeneca's vaccine is now rarely used around the globe, and the company reported that sales fell to just $12 million last year.