AstraZeneca said last week it would try to deliver 30 million doses to the European Union by the end of March, against a contractual obligation of 90 million and a previous promise made last month to deliver 40 million. of doses.
The new target is not guaranteed as it depends on regulatory approval from a vaccine factory in the Netherlands.
Asked whether Director General Pacal Soriot was under sufficient pressure from the EU, Pannier-Runacher told France Info radio: “I think he is in the hot seat and that he is absolutely aware of it. ”
“In any business there is a fiduciary responsibility, you have to be responsible. When you don’t honor a contract, it can cause problems, individual problems. ”
Pannier-Runacher said France would only receive 25% of the roughly 15 million doses it expected in March and April and that AstraZeneca was not giving enough detail on production plans.
“We have identified contradictions in the indications given by AstraZeneca,” she said.
Pannier-Runacher’s comments come as a number of EU countries, including France and Germany, have suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reporting that a small number of recipients have suffered from clots blood, in some cases fatal.
“There should be no distrust of the public. If you see decisions made in other countries, the risk is that mistrust of the vaccine will develop, ”the minister said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said there was no proven link and called on people not to panic. The European Medical Agency, which is investigating the incidents, is expected to address the issue publicly on Thursday.
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Christian Lowe)