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AstraZeneca executive says ‘vaccination has a future’ after a setback


AstraZeneca chief executive stressed that his Covid-19 vaccine has a future, as he revealed that the UK got a chance to go to the jab and also met with “chairpersons” behind the company’s “dangerous” back.

In his first interview following a number of complications, including the appearance of a few serious complications, Pascal Soriot defended the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and provided new evidence that it could play an important role in the fight against the disease.

Soriot told the Financial Times that the jab was less effective compared to the first species found in India than the problems found in Kent and said in animal studies the new incentives have worked better against other species. AstraZeneca is in talks with governments, including the UK, about a new extension agreement, he said.

Commenting on the European Commission’s response to the lack of funding for AstraZeneca, Soriot said: “You can look at this empty glass: we have given less than we expected in Europe. You can look in a full glass: we have given more than 400m [worldwide] and saved thousands of lives. ”

“I’m white so I love Europe, don’t fool me,” he said. “But at the end of the day Europe is a part of the world, not the whole world. And there are many countries around the world that want the vaccine, so there is a future. ”

Members of the Kuala Lumpur line to receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 © Mohd Firdaus / NurPhoto via Getty

He also said that the slow pace of vaccination in Europe was not AstraZeneca’s problem but because of limited resources. The US has “a lot of vaccines, but they don’t have our vaccines. So if our vaccines are a problem in Europe, can you tell me how the US has gotten so many vaccines?”

The EU is disappointed that it was missing when the UK did not. Soriot revealed that the UK government had confirmed that it should be vaccinated as part of an agreement reached with Oxford University in return for funding, before AstraZeneca became its partner in developing the vaccine.

“Obviously when you do things like this as a government, you don’t do it for free,” he said. “What you want to give us back, and that’s fine, is very important.”

He said the UK government had done “a great deal of work and vaccination”, most of all by appointing a “specialist” – working capitalist Kate Bingham – to run the group receiving the vaccine: “Not a purchaser who can discuss prices, or put numbers in spreadsheets. Someone who knows business, ”he added.

He declined to say whether the EU – which has set up a vaccination campaign run by European Commission officials and member states – should follow suit.

Soriot also blamed vaccine makers such as Pfizer and Moderna, some of whom are predicting billions of dollars from the Covid-19 shooting this year alone.

“We wanted to give the vaccine free of charge because we saw that, as a factory, we should not be seen as benefiting from this kind of epidemic,” he said.

Explaining that two-thirds of AstraZeneca’s vaccine has gone to low and middle countries, he said: “Pfizer is focused on the US and Europe and a few other countries, and will soon, we believe, re-introduce the poorest countries.”

By leveraging power in clinical trials and stress-related concerns, some countries have begun to launch the AstraZeneca vaccine as an unacceptable relationship with their competitors. But Soriot insisted that the supporting evidence collected in the vaccine study after approval showed that it “had exactly the same effects” as the BioNTech / Pfizer jab.

He said the company had not decided what to do with the vaccine for a long time. AstraZeneca did not have a traditional business before the epidemic, they just sell the flu vaccine.

“At first I hoped that by now we would know, but we have a lot to do, and we have had a number of obstacles for sure,” he said. “You can’t say we will have a vaccine, like this. You need to think, ‘Well, do I really have the right skills? Will it make sense? How to make the best use of our headquarters compared to all the opportunities we have in oncology? ‘”

The program of 61-year-old French leader he said that by giving the vaccine to no avail he hopes to do better and raise the profile of the business.

But the process was hampered by “disaster” and “public misunderstanding”, he said. Now back at AstraZeneca’s office in Cambridge, after running the company via Zoom from Australia for several months, he said the threats received were “painful”.

“People are just trying to do the best they can. They are just trying to develop a life-saving vaccine. It’s that simple. And, being reprimanded every day, sometimes the right criticism, sometimes by chairpersons who have opinions on everything, is frustrating, ”he said.

Healthcare provider preparing Covid-19 vaccine in India
Health worker prepares Covid-19 vaccine in India © Naveen Sharma / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty

“As an adult, I have been criticized many times in my life for being able to cope with this, and my granddaughter is proud of me and that is why it is the only thing that matters,” added Soriot. “But we have thousands of people working on the project. . . And I’m not exaggerating, people have given their lives for this for months, which is why all the criticism is so frustrating. As a result, you might think, we could have saved ourselves, but you still have to remember how we are affected. And our concern saves thousands and thousands of lives. ”

Soriot acknowledged his “intention”, in which US security officials criticized the company for publishing the past, and said it had compromised its results. Staff at AstraZeneca imagined what the final look would look like but forgot to tell the team.

“It’s not really important but respectfully and in a good way, he should have told them,” he said. “People have worked hard, they are tired, they run.”

Chart price change chart compared to Jan 2020 (%) showing AstraZeneca counterparts

Soriot met a stockbroker going backwards earlier this month, when about 40% of shareholders voted against the £ 15.4m package, after being half-bound to share prices.

Realizing that they come from a “very humble family…, Then I know we all make a lot of money,” Soriot said. The long-term reform of corporate promotions needed to attract the best performers. , along with fellow UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which offers a wide range of temporary promotions.

“That’s why people made all the noise about me, and it definitely affected me but it was necessary to adjust the process to attract talent to replace me, and to get people on. [senior executive team], “He added.

Speaking of his future, Soriot only said he was retiring “at the right time” but made it clear that plans were underway for his departure and two other long-serving leaders, chairman Leif Johansson and chief financial officer Marc Dunoyer. “We have a common schedule for the time when everyone will retire,” he said.

Considering the year his company was criticized for the vaccine, but confirmed that it is one of the world’s most successful companies with a history of blockbuster cancer treatment, Soriot, 62, on Sunday, said: “The good old age is that you have scars. as of an old soldier. . . The question is, on the road, are you riding at all? And I think we are. ”


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