The European Commission said that a lower court in Brussels had ordered AstraZeneca to deliver 50 million doses of vaccines to EU countries, otherwise the company would be required to pay 10 euros for each undelivered dose. Yeah. 40 million doses have been delivered between March and now.
These vaccines are distributed proportionally to the countries of the European Union.
The company announced in January that it would not be able to deliver the number of vaccine doses it had contracted with the European Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory agreement, the Commission launched a dispute resolution procedure aimed at reaching an agreement on how to proceed in March, and then filed a lawsuit.
“The Court of First Instance found that AstraZeneca flagrantly and intentionally breached the agreement with the European Union,” the statement read.
According to the Commission, citing the court’s logic, “a delay in vaccination could have detrimental consequences for the freedom of individuals in the European Union, and thus for the economic life of the European Union and Member States,” hence the company’s obligation to provide 50 million doses.
Moreover, as the Commission explained, according to the court, AstraZeneca also violated the contract with the European Commission because it “intentionally” decided not to use all production facilities at its disposal for the production and delivery of vaccines to Member States, in particular a plant located in Great Britain.
In the Court’s view, the delay in delivery “can be explained by obligations to the United Kingdom, which AstraZeneca considered a priority and which conflicted with the agreement with the European Union and impeded its full implementation. Hence AstraZeneca – it appears – willfully violated its contractual guarantee”.
The company can no longer claim that it cannot use factories in Britain to produce vaccines for the European Union. This is very important to increase the production of doses due under the contract. A Belgian court will reexamine the case on September 24 and 29 to assess whether the company has actually complied with these obligations, “ we read.
The contract with the committee remains in effect, which means that AstraZeneca must make every effort to deliver all remaining doses of the vaccine as quickly as possible.
In addition, the court ordered AstraZeneca to deliver 50 million doses, in addition to 30.2 million doses delivered in the first quarter.
The doses provided by the company between the end of March and the date of judgment will be taken into account. The European Commission maintains that in anticipation of the court order, AstraZeneca has already delivered more than 40 million doses since the end of March (plus 30 million doses delivered) of the vaccine by September 27, 2021. The Commission has demanded 90 million doses by the end of Q2.