EU Sues AstraZeneca Over Delays In COVID-19 Vaccine Deliveries
The European Union on Monday said it filing a lawsuit against drug maker AstraZeneca over a breach of its Covid-19 vaccine supply contract.
“Our priority is to ensure Covid-19 vaccine deliveries take place to protect the health of European Union,” the EU’s commissioner for health, Stella Kyriakides, said Monday via Twitter. “This is why the European Commission has decided jointly with all Member States to bring legal proceedings against AstraZeneca.”
“Every vaccine dose counts. Every vaccine dose saves lives,” she added.
The European Union had ordered 300 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the drugmaker to be delivered by the end of June, with an option to purchase an additional 100 million. However, deliveries have fallen short of expectations leading to the public fight between the two parties.
In March, AstraZeneca had said that the company was planning to send 100 million doses in total to the EU in the first half of the year, just a third of the contract.
“This action is due to the continuous breach of the terms of the contract and to the lack of a reliable strategy by the company to ensure the timely supply of vaccines in the current circumstances,” Stefan De Keersmaecker, a spokesperson for the European Commission, said Monday.
The European Commission filed its lawsuit in Brussels on Friday.
“AstraZeneca regrets the European Commission’s decision to take legal action over the supply of COVID-19 vaccines,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.
“Following an unprecedented year of scientific discovery, very complex negotiations, and manufacturing challenges, our company is about to deliver almost 50m doses to European countries by the end of April, in line with our forecast. AstraZeneca has fully complied with the Advance Purchase Agreement with the European Commission and will strongly defend itself in court. We believe any litigation is without merit and we welcome this opportunity to resolve this dispute as soon as possible.”
“AstraZeneca has fully complied with the Advance Purchase Agreement with the European Commission and will strongly defend itself in court. We believe any litigation is without merit and we welcome this opportunity to resolve this dispute as soon as possible,” the firm also said.
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