The European Commission has lost a legal offer to force AstraZeneca to deliver millions of additional doses of its Covid-19 vaccines on pain of heavy fines.
AstraZeneca was initially expected to deliver up to 300 million doses to the EU in the first six months of this year, but that forecast has been reduced to just 100 million after production issues. The Commission wanted a Brussels judge to order the company to increase this figure to 120 million, with a penalty of € 10 per dose per day for any shortfall, penalties that could have amounted to billions of euros .
But, according to AstraZeneca, the court has ordered him to deliver just 10 million more doses than he has already sent – a total of 80 million, by September – which he can complete before the end of the month. of June.
Both sides have claimed victory in the unusual legal battle, with AstraZeneca saying they are satisfied with the court order, and the Commission saying they have confirmed their position.
AstraZeneca said it looks forward to renewed collaboration with the Commission. Jeffrey Pott, AstraZeneca Legal Advisor, said: “AstraZeneca has fully honored its agreement with the European Commission and we will continue to focus on the urgent task of delivering an effective vaccine, which we deliver without profit to help protect people. in Europe. and in the world of the deadliest pandemic in a generation. “
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also called the verdict a victory.
“This decision confirms the Commission’s position: AstraZeneca has not honored the commitments made in the contract. It’s good to see an independent judge confirming this, ”she said.