The European Union has dragged British-Swedish vaccine maker, AstraZeneca to court for repeatedly under-delivering vaccines to EU countries.
CNN reports EU Commission spokesman on Health, Stefan De Keersmaecker, as confirming the suit, Monday.
Keersmaecker is quoted as saying the EU-AstraZeneca contract had “not been respected, and the company has not been in a position to come up with a reliable strategy to ensure timely delivery of doses.
“What matters to us in this case, is that we want to make sure that there is a speedy delivery of a sufficient number of doses that European citizens are entitled to, and which have been promised on the basis of the contract,” he said, adding all 27 countries supported this action.
The EU had ordered 300 million initial doses of the vaccine from the company, with an optional extra 100 million. However, all the 27 countries of the bloc had had a sluggish vaccination rollout due to deliveries falling tens of millions short.
AstraZeneca has responded in a statement virtually calling the suit rush, and vowing to defend itself in court.
“Following an unprecedented year of scientific discovery, very complex negotiations, and manufacturing challenges, our company is about to deliver almost 50m doses to European countries by the end of April, in line with our forecast.
“AstraZeneca has fully complied with the Advance Purchase Agreement with the European Commission and will strongly defend itself in court. We believe any litigation is without merit and we welcome this opportunity to resolve this dispute as soon as possible,” it said.