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AstraZeneca withdraws Covid-19 vaccine 'for commercial reasons'

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Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has said it was withdrawing its Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria, one of the first produced in the deadly pandemic, citing "commercial reasons" following a slump in demand. "As multiple, variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed there is a surplus of available updated vaccines.

This has led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied," an AstraZeneca spokesperson added in a statement. "We will now work with regulators and our partners to align on a clear path forward to conclude this chapter and significant contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic." AstraZeneca rapidly developed the successful Covid-19 jab during the coronavirus pandemic which erupted in the first half of 2020.

Vaxzevria, developed alongside Oxford University, was at first offered at cost but Astra decided in late 2021 to sell it for profit.

However, the world pivoted towards mRNA vaccines, particularly the one produced by US drugs giant Pfizer and German peer BioNTech, after rare blood-clot problems with AstraZeneca's jab increased public hesitancy about taking it.

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