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Health Ministry says no stock of Vaxzevria available in the Sultanate

The Ministry of Health yesterday released a statement following reports of the withdrawal of market authorisation of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19, Vaxzevria in the European Union.

Vaxzevria, manufactured by AstraZeneca, is one of the COVID-19 vaccines granted with the emergency use authorisation by the Brunei Darussalam Medicines Control Authority (BDMCA) during the COVID-19 pandemic and was used in the national vaccination programme for COVID-19 in 2021. The validity of the emergency use authorisation for Vaxzevria in Brunei Darussalam lapsed in July 2022 and has never been renewed since.

Following the update, there is no longer any stock of Vaxzevria available in the Sultanate.

AstraZeneca was requested on voluntary withdrawal of the market authorisation of Vaxzevria due to a decline in demand, whereby the vaccine was initially developed to provide protection against the original variant (ancestral) COVID-19 only, as stated in a report. The decrease in demand was also reported due to the availability of updated COVID-19 vaccines in the market that can provide better protection against the current variants of COVID-19.

In a notice on its website, the European Medicines Agency also announced Vaxzevria withdrawal at the request of the market authorisation holder, AstraZeneca AB, whereby the European Commission was informed of AstraZeneca’s decision to permanently stop marketing Vaxzevria due to commercial reasons.

The ministry said it will continue to maintain its ongoing surveillance of pharmaceutical products and vaccines marketed in the Sultanate to ensure the safety and well-being of the public. The public may contact Darussalam Line at 123 for information and inquiries.