President of the EU Fee Ursula von der Leyen
Thierry Monasse | Getty Photos Information | Getty Photos
“Our precedence is to make sure Covid-19 vaccine deliveries happen to guard the well being of European Union,” the EU’s commissioner for well being, Stella Kyriakides, stated Monday by way of Twitter.
“For this reason the European Fee has determined collectively with all Member States to convey authorized proceedings in opposition to AstraZeneca.”
“Each vaccine dose counts. Each vaccine dose saves lives,” she added.
The EU and the pharmaceutical large have been at odds a number of occasions this yr. The Anglo-Swedish drug firm stated it couldn’t ship as many vaccines because the bloc was relying on, each in the course of the first and second quarters. This has delayed the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines throughout the 27 EU nations.
“Following an unprecedented yr of scientific discovery, very complicated negotiations, and manufacturing challenges, our firm is about to ship virtually 50m doses to European nations by the tip of April, in step with our forecast,” AstraZeneca stated in a press release on Monday.
“AstraZeneca has totally complied with the Advance Buy Settlement with the European Fee and can strongly defend itself in courtroom. We imagine any litigation is with out benefit and we welcome this chance to resolve this dispute as quickly as potential,” the agency additionally stated.
In March, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen had expressed disappointment with the corporate, saying that “AstraZeneca has sadly under-produced and under-delivered. And this painfully, in fact, decreased the pace of the vaccination marketing campaign.”
On the time, von der Leyen stated the bloc was anticipating 70 million doses from the corporate within the second quarter, down from 180 million initially anticipated. The bloc was additionally anticipating 120 million doses within the first three months of the yr, however acquired solely about 30 million.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot had instructed EU lawmakers in February that low manufacturing at EU vegetation have been inflicting the delays.