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EU, AstraZeneca settle dispute over failed vaccine deliveries

Pharma company commits to deliver 200M COVID-19 vaccines by March 2022

Agnes Szucs   | 03.09.2021
EU, AstraZeneca settle dispute over failed vaccine deliveries

BRUSSELS 

The European Union and Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca settled their legal dispute, the bloc announced in a statement on Friday.

With the new agreement, AstraZeneca committed to delivering 135 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this year, topping up the already shipped 100 million doses.

By the end of March 2022, another 65 million doses will be provided for the EU, bringing the total number of vaccines to 300 million which had been originally agreed by the Advanced Purchase Agreement between the bloc and AstraZeneca in 2020.

The settlement ends the legal case before the Brussels Court.

The partners have been in a dispute over deliveries since January.

The company was heavily criticized by EU officials after AstraZeneca announced delays in shipments due to “reduced yields at a manufacturing site” while it continued to supply the British health authorities that authorized the vaccine a month earlier than the EU.

AstraZeneca argued that they had signed a contract with the UK earlier than with the EU, and they promised to deliver vaccines to the bloc with its “best reasonable efforts.”

The company originally signed up to make to deliver 300 million vaccine doses until July.

But it only shipped 30 million out of the contracted 120 million in the first quarter of this year and announced later to deliver 70 million out of the 180 million.

In April, the EU started a legal case against the firm for breaching its obligations.

In June, the Brussels Court delivered its first instance decision that both parties interpreted as a victory, supporting their own claim.

The procedure was supposed to continue in September, but the partners agreed to withdraw it with the settlement.

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