European Commission sues AstraZeneca over vaccine supply delays

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The European Commission (EC) has filed a lawsuit against the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca over violation of the contract for the supply of vaccine against coronavirus infection to the European Union. On Monday, April 26, reports Reuters.

“Certain provisions of the contract have not been respected and the company has failed to provide a credible strategy for restoring supplies,” European Commission spokesman Stefan De Keersmaker said at a briefing on Monday.

According to him, the lawsuit was filed on April 23 “on the basis of violation of the agreement on the pre-order of the vaccine.” He also stressed the importance of fast deliveries of a significant number of doses that EU citizens are entitled to receive under a vaccine pre-order contract.

The contract for the pre-order of 400 million doses of vaccine for the EU countries was signed by the EC with AstraZeneca in the summer of 2020. This was done even before the company finished developing its drug.

In mid-March, the first deputy head of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said that the EU’s coronavirus vaccination strategy was flawed. At the same time, he called the decision to order the vaccine together as correct.

At the same time, on March 13, AstraZeneca confirmed reports of delays in the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to the EU countries.

In the same month, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the deterioration of the situation with the coronavirus: the emergence of new strains of COVID-19 in the European Union and the formation of a third wave of the disease. She blamed the slowdown in vaccination of residents as the reason for this – she blamed the company AstraZeneca for this.

Now the European Union has approved four vaccines against COVID-19: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, as well as the development of Janssen, a division of the American Johnson & Johnson. In Europe, only 16% of the population received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of April 20. Moreover, according to the European vaccination plan, 70% of the European population should be vaccinated by this summer.