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The European Union and AstraZeneca are in a dispute over vaccines

The European Union and AstraZeneca are in a dispute over vaccines

Some European leaders, including in Italy, want AstraZeneca to be brought to justice. The reason is that first deliveries of a total of 400 million promised doses were delayed. The company’s CEO Pascal Suriot believes the pharmaceutical company is absolutely not obligated to deliver it. The one thing Astra Zeneca has agreed on is to do her best to get the vaccine shots, he says in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Read more: Astra Zeneca vaccine problems could ruin Sweden’s covid-19 vaccination plan

– The contract is very clear. What we are committed to doing is, I quote, “as best we can (our best effort)”. But he said in the interview that there is a lot of passion in the process at the moment.

The European Union is coordinating the procurement of vaccines

In August, the European Commission signed an agreement with Astra Zeneca for a total of 400 million doses of the AZD1222 vaccine, which the company is developing with researchers at Oxford. The idea for the European Union was to create a structured vaccination of EU citizens and to avoid a stab similar to that which occurred around respirator masks and medical equipment at the start of the pandemic. The European Union has been criticized for delaying signing agreements with vaccine manufacturers. Once the European Union signed an agreement with Astra Zeneca, the UK had already entered into such an agreement for a period of three months.

Read more: It is unclear if the Astra Zeneca vaccine protects the elderly

The European Union is also currently behind, for example, England and the United States in the proportion of the population vaccinated. In the United States, about 6.5 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the UK, the figure is 10.7%. In the European Union and Sweden, the proportion is around 2%.

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The fact that the Astra Zeneca vaccine was delivered to England to a greater extent compared to the European Union is partly due to the fact that the European Union was late in signing the agreement, according to Pascal Soriot.

The UK contract was signed for three months prior to the European Vaccine Agreement. Then he said we had an additional three months to fix all the problems that arose.

Read more: Three questions about the big pollen brawl with Astra Zeneca

On the other hand, European Union representatives believe that non-extradition is a breach of contract. Meetings have taken place between the two parties in recent days. Richard Bergstrom, Sweden’s National Vaccine Coordinator, participated in the last meeting with Astra Zeneca.

– We have a contract dispute and we must continue it. But it is now important to get the doses. We will receive a million doses to Sweden in February. We’ve now gotten 400,000, Richard Bergstrom told Swedish P1 radio on Thursday.

Astra Zeneca was to deliver 80 million doses to the European Union in the first quarter of the year. Now it would instead be 31 million. The European Union’s position is that the gap should then be able to fill the pharmaceutical company with vaccines produced in other parts of the world.

Swedish National Vaccination Coordinator Richard Bergstrom. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman / SvD / TT

– Now we are awaiting feedback from Astra Zeneca to get these potions. (…) We must now focus on how to deliver the doses to EU citizens as quickly as possible. Then we have to discuss this with contracts and money, ”says Richard Bergstrom.

May change the rules regarding vaccine exports

The dispute between the European Union and AstraZeneca also affected the relationship between the European Union and the former member state of Great Britain. After reports of the delay, the European Commission decided that all vaccines produced within the Union must be registered before they can be exported to other countries. Many UK politicians saw it as a way for the European Union to keep vaccines destined for other markets.

The question now is what is already being said in the agreement between the European Union and Astra Zeneca. It is unclear because the contract has not been published. Hence, potential breach of contract is a matter of word for word.

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