The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


EU and AstraZeneca battle in court over vaccine delays

EU and AstraZeneca battle in court over vaccine delays

WORLD: The European Commission will confront drugs giant AstraZeneca in a Belgian court today (May 26) over coronavirus vaccine delivery shortfalls that hampered efforts to kickstart inoculations across the bloc.

CoronavirusCOVID-19Vaccine
By AFP

Wednesday 26 May 2021, 11:02AM


Photo: AFP.

Photo: AFP.

Lawyers for both sides are due to appear before a judge in the French-speaking court in Brussels from 9:00am local time (1pm Phuket time). Another hearing is scheduled for Friday, the court said.

The EU is suing the British-Swedish pharmaceutical group in a bid to force it to deliver 90 million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine before July.

The deadline for the contract was set for mid-June, according to the Commission, and the EU says the company will face financial penalties if it does not meet this deadline.

AstraZeneca delivered only 30 million doses in the first quarter out of the 120 million it was contracted to supply. For the current quarter which runs until June 30, it plans to deliver only 70 million of the 180 million initially promised.

A Commission official close to the case told AFP this month that AstraZeneca was currently delivering doses at a rate of only 10 million per month, well below the planned pace.

The group denies having failed in its obligations and at the end of April denounced the lawsuit as “unfounded”.

One lawyer for AstraZeneca claimed that the EU had been warned “as early as February” of the delays and expressed surprise that the bloc had waited at least two months to take the matter to court.

The EU is also accusing the pharmaceutical giant - which worked with Oxford University in the development of its vaccine - of having favoured the UK in its deliveries, even for jabs made by subcontractors on the continent.

AstraZeneca’s French-Australian boss Pascal Soriot has argued that his company’s contract with the EU binds it only to a “best reasonable efforts” clause.

But the European Commission says the rest of the contract shows greater legal responsibility than that, and EU diplomats and lawmakers have pointed out that the company has largely delivered promised doses to Britain, where it is headquartered.

PVC Phuket Food Challenge 2021

Not in the contract’

The commission, which has been responsible for procuring vaccines for all of the bloc, initially intended to use the AstraZeneca jab as the main workhorse to power the EU’s inoculation drive.

It has now switched to the more expensive BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine as its mainstay.

In a hearing, Rafael Jafferali, one of the commission’s lawyers, accused AstraZeneca of having “breached numerous obligations under the pre-order contract”.

“This affects both the production and delivery of the vaccines,” he said.

But Hakim Boularbah, AstraZeneca’s lawyer, said the contracts contained “no obligation to use (production) sites”.

“This may be what the commission wants, but it is not provided for in the contract,” he said.

The row has eroded public confidence in the AstraZeneca jab, which also took a blow over worries of links to very rare blood clots in people who had received it.

In the European Union, Denmark, as early as April, and later Norway and Austria, stopped using AstraZeneca in their vaccination campaigns.

Most other countries have restricted its administration to older adults. This is the case in France, where it is reserved for those aged 55 and over.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
PM insists he will complete term

It's compulsory to vote in Thailand other wise legal action, jail time and of course fines will ...(Read More)


Prayut refuses to lay vaccine blame

..."may not have same understanding of the issue(?) because information passed through to many ...(Read More)


PM insists he will complete term

So the grand total [up to that point] will be 10 years...(Read More)


Ambulance driver, nurses escape serious injury in bypass accident

ematt the driver stated the road was slippery- its clear he wasn't driving to the conditions. Do...(Read More)


Phuket Sandbox Workshop prepares for July 1 reopening

Some airlines are recommending vexxinated people not fly due to the high risk of deep vein thrombosi...(Read More)


Phuket drug mule arrested with 2kg of ‘ice’, more than 5,000 meth pills

Drugs mules seem to be quite underpaid. And mister Bang? We never will hear about him and the distri...(Read More)


Prayut refuses to lay vaccine blame

The U.S. announced that 25 million COVID vaccine doses are coming to Asia by the end of June. How ...(Read More)


Foreigner infected while in Phuket quarantine

Quote “We will take this information [and questions] and meet with the prime minister again,” . ...(Read More)


Prayut refuses to lay vaccine blame

As PRIME minister the blame for everything ultimately lies with him. If he can't accept that may...(Read More)


Prayut refuses to lay vaccine blame

If he is the COVID CZAR, and the situation is all mis-handled, isn't HE the one who is responsib...(Read More)