A legal representative of the European Union has filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca over delayed supplies and has demanded the company for at least 120 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of next June.
The case in a Belgian court is the second brought by the European Commission against the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company.
The case details
The company’s attorney complained in court that the European Union’s executive authority had opened a second case to set specific doses for the company to deliver in its first official request so far.
The lawyer told the court that the European Union “hopes” to deliver the remaining 300 million contracted doses by next September.
AstraZeneca’s lawyer confirmed to the judge that the company “hopes” to deliver 100 million doses by the end of next June.
The company’s attorney declined to comment when asked whether the company could accept the European Union’s request to deliver 120 million doses on time.
It was agreed in the Brussels court, Tuesday, that the first hearing in the new case will be on September 24.
Causes of conflict
In March, European Commission President von der Leyen announced that AstraZeneca will not be able to export any of its COVID-19 vaccine doses manufactured on European soil outside the Union before the latter receives the full delayed quantities of this vaccine.
Tensions between the company and the conglomerate escalated after the difficulties that Pfizer / Biotech faced in delivering their doses, while the vaccination campaign in the European Union is slowly proceeding.
The European Union has granted AstraZeneca 336 million euros ($ 408.77 million) to develop its vaccine and increase its production capacity.
AstraZeneca has so far delivered only 31 million doses out of the 120 million that clustering has promised. It warns that it will also provide only 70 million of the additional 180 million doses that were supposed to be delivered during the remainder of the year.
AstraZeneca aims to deliver only 100 million doses in June, while the agreement was to deliver 300 million doses.
European Union leaders have been frustrated by a massive shortage of deliveries of AstraZeneca vaccine shipments, as infections soar in the third wave of the pandemic across Europe.
Fears are increasing that the Commission will ban the company’s exports of the vaccine until the European Union receives the shipments it promised, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Vaccination in European Union countries
AstraZeneca announced that the effectiveness of its vaccine against Covid-19 reached 76%, confirming, according to the new results, that the vaccine is developed with the University of Oxford is 100% effective in facing acute or critical forms of the disease. The effectiveness of the vaccine is up to 85% among adults over the age of 65 years.
In the first quarter of this year, the European Union received 107 million doses of all licensed vaccines on its territory, for a population of 446 million. At a time when the European Commission aims to “vaccinate 70% of European adults by the summer.”