EU Sues AstraZeneca Over Covid-19 Vaccine Shortfall

The AstraZeneca vaccine is run at a hospital in Suresnes, close to Paris.



Photograph:

benoit tessier/Reuters

BRUSSELS—The European Union is suing AstraZeneca PLC for failure to ship on its Covid-19 vaccine contract, a pointy escalation in a long-simmering dispute over provides of the shot and an indication of how determined governments are to safe scarce doses.

“Our precedence is to make sure #Covid-19 vaccine deliveries happen,” Stella Kyriakides, the EU’s well being commissioner, said on Twitter on Monday.

The go well with was filed on Friday in a Brussels courtroom, stated a spokesman for the European Fee, the EU’s govt arm. Fee officers have stated their purpose is to obtain their contracted doses, to not punish the corporate.

AstraZeneca stated it regretted the fee’s resolution to take authorized motion and was wanting ahead to working with it “to vaccinate as many individuals as potential.”

What the lawsuit can obtain stays unclear since AstraZeneca has made clear that it is going to be unable to considerably improve vaccine deliveries within the rapid future.

The fee stated final week it was making ready a lawsuit in opposition to AstraZeneca. The pair have wrangled since AstraZeneca earlier this yr stated it might be capable of ship solely a fraction of the as much as 400 million doses it was contracted to ship to the bloc by midyear.

​Europe’s prime drug regulator endorsed AstraZeneca’s vaccine after it was suspended in a number of international locations over blood-clot issues. WSJ explains what’s at stake for a shot that is been broadly used world wide and should quickly be thought-about for emergency use within the U.S. Photograph: Mykola Tys/SOPA Photographs (Video from 3/18/21)

Of 120 million doses agreed on for supply within the first quarter, the EU obtained about 30 million, stated the fee spokesman. For the present quarter, the 2 sides had contracted for 180 million doses. Virtually a month in, deliveries are within the single-digit tens of millions.

A fee official had stated final week that the EU was “holding all our choices open, together with authorized choices.”

The EU lawsuit is being introduced by the fee collectively with all 27 member states.

Write to Daniel Michaels at [email protected]

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