EU says it makes no sense to think of a new contract –

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EU says it makes no sense to think of a new contract – fr


A medical worker prepares a syringe with AstraZeneca vaccine at a local community gym turned into a vaccination center in Ventspils, Latvia.
GINTS IVUSKANS | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – A senior EU official has dismissed the idea that Brussels could start new contract negotiations with AstraZeneca as a court is currently assessing whether the company has violated its existing agreement to provide coronavirus vaccines.
Last month, the European Union launched legal action against the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company over complaints that AstraZeneca failed to meet its delivery targets with the block. AstraZeneca has denied the charges, saying it will defend itself firmly in court.

“At the moment, it’s no,” Didier Reynders, EU justice commissioner, told CNBC when asked if the committee had any plans for a new contract with AstraZeneca. “It’s absurd to think of a new contract,” he added.

The Brussels-based institution announced a new vaccine agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech earlier this month. The agreement covers 900 million doses with the possibility of obtaining 900 million more between 2021 and 2023.
“It is not a problem with the quality of the vaccine. We said it is a very high quality vaccine so we have no problem using the AstraZeneca vaccines, ”Reynders said, explaining that the problem was the lack. deliveries.

The EU expected 120 million doses of AstraZeneca in the first quarter, but has only received around 30 million doses.

AstraZeneca said poor performance issues at European factories have caused delays in distribution. The company said in a statement in March that it expected to deliver 100 million doses to the EU by the end of the second quarter – below EU expectations for 300 million doses during this period.

Earlier this month, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said the EU had not placed any new orders with AstraZeneca beyond June.

Big fine

In a court hearing on Wednesday, EU lawyer Rafael Jafferali said the bloc was seeking to receive 10 euros ($ 12) for every day of delay for each dose, and an additional fine of at least 10 million euros for each breach of contract the judge determines, Reuters reported.

“In the first quarter we didn’t get what was in the contract and for the second quarter it will be the same,” Reynders told CNBC.

One of the problems from a European point of view is that AstraZeneca appears to have fulfilled contracts with other parts of the world, notably the UK, which has carried out a successful vaccination campaign.

The lawyer said Wednesday in a Belgian court that AstraZeneca had “diverted” doses to other customers, according to Reuters.

Despite a bumpy initial vaccination rollout, the EU appears to be catching up with other parts of the world.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday that “by the end of the week, more than 300 million doses of vaccine will have been delivered to member states”.

“We are therefore on the right track to achieve our goal of delivering enough doses to vaccinate 70% of the adult population of the European Union by the end of July,” she added.

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