The European Union has filed a brief escalation of controversy over pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for a lack of COVID-19 vaccine.
EU spokesperson Stefan De Keersmaecker said in an email statement that a proceeding was filed in a court in Brussels on April 23. Timely supply of vaccines in the current situation. “
De Keersmaecker said the legal action was against a breach of the Pre-Purchase Agreement (APA) for the supply of 300 million COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the second quarter of the European Union’s agreement with the company on August 27, 2020. Said that. 2021.
He said legal action is being taken for the Commission itself and for the 27 member states of the European Union. Signed with AstraZeneca. “
He said the purpose of the proceedings was not to punish AstraZeneca, but to ensure prompt delivery of the vaccine in line with the contract.
“Our priority is to ensure delivery of the # Covid-19 vaccine,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kiriyakides said on Monday. Post on Twitter, It reflects De Keersmaecker’s position that the intent is to get more dose.
“All vaccinations are important. Every vaccination saves lives,” added Kiriyakides.
AstraZeneca said the proceedings had no merit and would fight the proceedings in court.
“AstraZeneca is in full compliance with the European Commission’s pre-purchase agreement and has strong defense in court. We believe that the proceedings have no merit and we take this opportunity to resolve the dispute as soon as possible. We welcome you, “the company said. Said in a statement..
“We look forward to working constructively with the EU Commission to vaccinate as many people as possible. Thousands of employees working 24 hours a day, without profit. Driven by a passion to support the world, they are determined to bring our vaccine to people in Europe and around the world, “added Astra Zeneca.
Under a contract with the EU, AstraZeneca will provide the block with 180 million vaccines in the second quarter of this year and a total of 300 million vaccines from December to June. I promised to make an effort.
However, AstraZeneca said in a statement on March 12 that it aims to provide only one-third of it by the end of June, of which about 70 million will be in the second quarter. A week later, the Commission sent a legal letter to the company as the first step in the formal process of resolving the dispute.
AstraZeneca said in a statement after the proceedings were announced that it was in the process of delivering nearly 50 million doses by the end of April. This is in line with the revised goal of ultimately supplying 100 million shots. Of the quarter.
The delay in AstraZeneca has contributed to the impediment to promoting block vaccination, as the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford was initially envisioned to be the major vaccine deployed in the EU earlier this year. I will. After repeated supply cuts, Brock changed plans and now relies primarily on Pfizer-BioNTech Jab.
The move has been going on for months with the company over supply issues amid concerns about vaccine efficacy and safety. Still, this shot is associated with rare cases of blood clots, but EU drug regulators recommend its use to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Reuters contributed to this report.