The European Union has lost a lawsuit against AstraZeneca over the supply of vaccines to Europe, Reuters reports.
Earlier, AstraZeneca had committed to deliver 300 million doses to EU by the end of June, but production delays led it to revise this to 100 million vaccines. This affected the course of vaccination in Europe.
AstraZeneca said the EU had lost its legal case, but European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the court ruling supported its view that the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant had failed to honour its commitments.
The court also ruled that AstraZeneca must deliver only 80.2 million doses by a deadline of Sept. 27. The drugmaker said it would “substantially exceed” that. The court said in a statement that AstraZeneca must deliver 15 million doses by July 26, another 20 million by Aug. 23 and a further 15 million by Sept. 27, to reach a total of 50 million doses, which are in addition to 30 million that had been given to the EU when the legal case began.
“Should it miss the deadlines in the ruling, AstraZeneca would face a penalty of 10 euros per dose not delivered”, the judge said,
Previously, the EU had asked all 300 million doses to be delivered by the end of September. EU data shows the company has already shipped nearly 70 million doses, more than half of which were delivered after the start of the legal proceedings.