The European Commission has demanded an urgent court ruling forcing AstraZeneca to deliver millions of additional vaccines to the ward or face a hefty fine, in a case that may reflect its anger more than its need for doses.
“AstraZeneca did not even try to honor the contract,” EU lawyer Rafael Jafferali told a Brussels court on Wednesday, saying the EU wanted € 10 per dose for every day of delay in compensation for alleged non-compliance by the company.
Jafferali said the sanction should apply from July 1 if AstraZeneca does not deliver at least 120 million doses by the end of June and the EU also seeks a penalty of at least 10 million. euros for each breach of contract that the judge could possibly decide.
AstraZeneca provided only 30 million of the 120 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine that it was expected to deliver to the block by the end of March and had only delivered 50 million by the beginning of May. He is on track to deliver 70m of the 180m promised in the second quarter.
The commission argued that the company should have used the four production plants listed in its contract – including two in the UK – – under a “best reasonable efforts” clause, and said 50 million doses made in UK, US and the Netherlands should have been delivered to the EU were “diverted” to other countries.