The European Commission took AstraZeneca to court for its failure to deliver vaccines. He even asked AstraZeneca for millionaire compensation in court for delays in vaccine deliveries. In the first open case, the Belgian Justice ruled in June that AstraZeneca had to comply with a delivery schedule and established a series of penalties.
The courts urged the manufacturer to comply with the contract, which provided for 400 million doses in 2021, although the pharmaceutical company had not delivered more than a third of what was planned in the first half of 2021. According to data from the European Commission , AstraZeneca delivered 30 million in the first quarter, instead of the 120 expected in the best of cases; and it had 50 million in May of the second quarter, which should end with 180 but will, as announced by AstraZeneca, with 70. In total, it would be 100 million instead of the 300 expected in the first half of 2021.
On the eve of a long-awaited second Belgian court ruling, scheduled for September 24, the European Commission and AstraZeneca have announced an agreement to close the legal dispute that “will guarantee the delivery of the remaining doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. to the Member States, “says Brussels.
The settlement agreement provides for AstraZeneca’s commitment to deliver, in addition to the around 100 million doses delivered by the end of the second quarter, 135 million doses before the end of 2021 (60 million doses in the third quarter and 75 million dose in the fourth trimester). And the remaining doses (65 million), in the first quarter of 2022, which will raise the total number of doses delivered to 300 million doses, details the European Commission, “as agreed in the contract”, although the data released previously by Brussels they spoke of up to 400 million doses in 2021.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said: “The agreement guarantees the delivery of the remaining 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca to the EU. While this week we reached the important milestone of full vaccination To 70% of adults in the EU, there are significant differences in vaccination rates between our Member States, and the continued availability of vaccines, including that from AstraZeneca, remains crucial. The goal is to share at least 200 million doses of vaccines through COVAX with low- and middle-income countries through the end of this year. ”
Member States will have regular delivery schedules and limited discounts will be applied in the event of dose delays.
The litigation with AstraZeneca, one of the vaccines in which the EU had placed the most hope, marked the start of vaccination in Europe due to a series of accumulated delays that threatened the vaccination campaign of the 27. The European Union accused the manufacturer of not complying with the contract; the manufacturer confessed to be prioritizing the United Kingdom over the EU; Brussels ended up threatening London with suspending Northern Ireland’s Brexit protocol to prevent the leakage of doses from mainland plants to the British Isles …
Only Pfizer’s efficiency sowed some calm in a vaccination campaign that started in fits and starts and that, eight months later, has caught a cruising speed higher than countries like the United Kingdom or the United States, which took advantage at the beginning of the year.