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EU Commission to end AstraZeneca and J&J vaccine contracts at expiry - paper

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MILAN, April 14 (Reuters) - The EU Commission has decided not to renew COVID-19 vaccine contracts next year with companies such as Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Italian daily La Stampa reported on Wednesday citing a source from the Italian Health Ministry.

"The European Commission, in agreement with the leaders of many (EU) countries, has decided that the contracts with the companies that produce (viral vector) vaccines that are valid for the current year will not be renewed at their expiry," the newspaper reported.

It added that Brussels would rather focus on COVID-19 vaccines using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, such as Pfizer's and Moderna's.

The European Commission is seeking clarification from J&J about the company's "completely unexpected" announcement of delays in COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to the EU, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday. (Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia, editing by Giulia Segreti)