EU Sues AstraZeneca over Delayed Deliveries of COVID-19 Vaccine


Underneath the contract, the Anglo-Swedish firm had dedicated to creating its “finest cheap efforts” to ship 180 million vaccine doses to the EU within the second quarter of this yr, for a complete of 300 million within the interval from December to June.

However AstraZeneca mentioned in a press release on March 12 it will purpose to ship solely one-third of that by the top of June, of which about 70 million within the second quarter. Per week after that, the Fee despatched a authorized letter to the corporate in step one of a proper process to resolve disputes.

“The Fee has began final Friday a authorized motion in opposition to AstraZeneca,” the EU spokesman informed a information convention, noting all 27 EU states backed the transfer.

“Some phrases of the contract haven’t been revered and the corporate has not been able to provide you with a dependable technique to make sure well timed supply of doses,” the spokesman mentioned, explaining what triggered the transfer.

Underneath the contract, the case will should be resolved by Belgian courts.

“We wish to ensure there’s a speedy supply of a adequate variety of doses that European residents are entitled to and which have been promised on the premise of the contract,” the spokesman mentioned.

“Each vaccine dose counts,” EU well being commissioner Stella Kyriakides mentioned on Twitter, asserting the authorized proceedings in opposition to AstraZeneca.

Germany, France and Hungary have been amongst EU states that have been initially reticent to sue the corporate, diplomats mentioned, however ultimately they supported the transfer.

The EU needs AstraZeneca to ship the promised 300 million doses, however in an extra signal of its irritation in the direction of the corporate, it has already forgone one other 100 million photographs that it had an choice to purchase beneath the contract signed in August.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; further reporting by Marine Strauss; Modifying by Alex Richardson and Bernadette Baum)

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