EU Seeks To Recover Large Fine From Astrazeneca For Vaccine Delivery Delays
The European Union has sued AstraZeneca for failing to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine, seeking to fine the Anglo-Swedish company.
According to AP, the EU accuses the manufacturer of acting in bad faith, in particular by providing the vaccine to other countries, whereas it promised supplies primarily to EU countries.
During an emergency court hearing in Brussels, an EU spokesman said the company was deliberately delaying deliveries in order to provide the vaccine to other countries, particularly the UK. Under the agreement with the EU, AstraZeneca is obliged to deliver 300 million doses of its vaccine to 27 countries in the economic bloc in 2021.
However, according to EU lawyer, only 30 million doses were delivered in the first quarter and European countries will receive only 70 million doses in the second quarter instead of the promised 180 million. At the same time, EU officials say the company could have used its plants in Europe to ramp up vaccine production for EU countries but chose not to do so.
The lawyer has asked the court to fine AstraZeneca €10 million for breaking its contractual obligations and make the company pay €10 per dose for every day of delay in delivery.
AstraZeneca has denied any wrongdoing and believes it is doing its best to meet its contractual obligations to the EU.