EU Fails To Get A Legal Order Directing AstraZeneca To Deliver 120m Doses Of Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine On Urgent Basis
The European Union EU has lost a legal battle to secure an urgent 120 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca by the end of this month
A court in Brussels refused to impose a new schedule on AstraZeneca as demanded by EU that would have required the company to to deliver 120 million jabs by end of June or or pay fines of €10 per dose per day.
The European Union EU has lost a legal battle to secure an urgent 120 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca by the end of this month, The Guardian reported.
The court of first instance in Brussels refused to impose a new schedule on AstraZeneca as demanded by EU that would have required the company to to deliver 120 million jabs by end of June or or pay fines of €10 per dose per day.
The company expects to deliver over 80 million doses by the end of June.
The court instead ordered the company to deliver 10 million more than it has already provided by the end of September. It asked the company to put “best efforts”, including potentially the use of UK facilities, to provide the further 220m jabs to which it is contractually committed.
The court however criticised AstraZeneca’s refusal to use the British factory to supply the EU, particularly as it was its most productive manufacturing site.
The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical behemoth had originally committed to supply 300 million doses by July, but was forced to lower the target to 100 million due to challenges in production supply chain.
Both sides welcome the judgement of the Belgian court.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, said: “This decision confirms the position of the commission: AstraZeneca did not live up to the commitments it made in the contract. It is good to see that an independent judge confirms this.”
AstraZeneca general counsel Jeffrey Pott said the company was “pleased” by the ruling.
“AstraZeneca has fully complied with its agreement with the European Commission and we will continue to focus on the urgent task of supplying an effective vaccine,” he said in a statement.
The judgement is likely to have limited practical value as AstraZeneca vaccine is being phased out in much of the EU due to a combination of delivery delays, rare side effects in younger people, a more lengthy dose interval and possible lower protection against new Covid-19 variants.
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