EU to take legal action against AstraZeneca over delayed shipment of COVID-19 vaccines

April 26, 2021 | Updated 8:02 pm

EU to take legal action against AstraZeneca over delayed shipment of COVID-19 vaccines Representational Image (Source: Xinhua)

New Delhi: The European Union’s (EU) executive branch on Monday (April 26) announced that it was taking legal action against vaccine manufacturers AstraZeneca for breaking the terms of the contracts with the organisation. The EU have taken the action over the slow delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine to the continent.

The delivery has been massively halting the pace of the vaccination roll-out across the continent as counties face wave COVID-19 cases.

The delivery has been massively halting the pace of the vaccination roll-out across the continent as counties face wave COVID-19 cases.

European Commission spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker said that Brussels launched the legal action against AstraZeneca last Friday “on the basis of breaches of the advance purchase agreement.”

The EU has accused AstraZeneca of not respecting the terms of the contract and have also said that the company has failed to come up with an alternative strategy to ramp up production. According to the contract, 300 million doses of vaccine had to be delivered initially with a further option of another 100 million doses.

However, so far it has only provided 30 million doses in the first quarter of 2021 and will provide a further 70 mullion doses in the next quarter as compared to the 100 million doses that it had promised.

Meanwhile, the company said that the doses premised were vaccination targets and not firm commitments and the company was looking ways to expand its production.

Last week, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that a new vaccine contract is set to be concluded with BioNTech-Pfizer for 1.8 billion doses for the 2021-23 period. She said the deal will ensure doses for booster shots, vaccines adapted to new variants, and, potentially, vaccines for children and teenagers.

Von der Leyen said the EU, home to around 450 million people, has “already passed 123 million vaccinations” and is on track to have vaccinated 70% of all adults by July. Previously the target had been September.

With inputs from PTI