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The EU breaks with AstraZeneca and announces that it will not renew the vaccine supply contract

  The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, the Frenchman Thierry Breton, has announced that the European executive has decided not...

 


The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, the Frenchman Thierry Breton, has announced that the European executive has decided not to renew the contract with AstraZeneca laboratories for the supply of vaccines against Covid-19 from June.

 

The Commission had already initiated legal action against this Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company for considering that it has not respected its commitments to supply vaccines or have a "reliable" plan to ensure successive deliveries.

 

The president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, had announced yesterday Saturday the approval of a new mega-contract with the multinational Pfizer to acquire up to 1.8 billion doses between 2021 and 2023. The agreement includes 900 million guaranteed doses, with an option to additional purchase for another 900 million, which represents a sufficient level of supply for the European population and leaves a considerable margin to send doses to other countries.

 

Under the contract now announced by the Commission that it will not renew, AstraZeneca had pledged to do its 'best reasonable efforts' to deliver 180 million doses of vaccines to the EU in the second quarter of this year, for a total of 300 million in the December-June period, but the Anglo-Swedish company had acknowledged that it could only deliver a third of that figure by the end of June and would add around 70 million to second-quarter deliveries.

 

AstraZeneca's delays have contributed to hampering the bloc's vaccination campaign, as the vaccine developed by Oxford University was initially supposed to be the main one in an EU rollout in the first half of this year. After repeated supply cuts, the bloc changed its plans and now relies primarily on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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