The United States doesn’t need AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine doses, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN Wednesday.
“We have three excellent vaccines. Even if the FDA deems that this vaccine is a very good vaccine, we don’t need yet again another very good vaccine. We have enough very good vaccines,” said Fauci, President Joe Biden’s senior medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Several European countries have paused their AstraZeneca vaccine distribution amid concerns that the vaccine might be linked to rare types of blood clots, or made rules that only people over a certain of age can receive it. No link has been established between the vaccine and blood clots.
At a congressional hearing on March 22, Ruud Dobber, president of AstraZeneca's biopharmaceuticals business unit, said the company was “expecting” to have an EUA “at the beginning of April.” However, in media interviews he said the company was expecting to apply for an EUA in the first half of April.
Fauci said if AstraZeneca applies to the US Food and Drug Administration, they might receive an EUA, but that the doses weren’t needed in the US.
“There is no plan to immediately start utilizing the AstraZeneca [vaccine] even if it gets approved through the EUA, which it very well might. It’s not any indictment against the product. We just have a lot of vaccines,” Fauci told CNN. “We already have contracted for enough vaccines, from Moderna and from Pfizer and from J&J, to fulfill all of our needs as well as even having doses for boosters in case we want to boost them a little later on.”
Last month, Emer Cooke, executive director of the European Medicines Agency, said the agency had come to a conclusion that the AstraZeneca vaccine "a is a safe and effective vaccine."
Cooke said the group did not find that the vaccine causes clotting, though it could not definitively rule out a link to a rare blood clotting disorder. Cooke added that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s vaccine outweigh the risks, a message already stressed by both the EMA and World Health Organization.