AstraZeneca hits vaccine shipment goal as EU sues over shipment delays

In a new milestone, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc, has reportedly delivered 50 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine across countries in the European Union. Evidently, the company was slated to hit the milestone in January of this year.

As per reports, the number of delivered doses constitute 1/6th of the total vaccines committed by the pharmaceutical giant. The European Commission is now planning to file a second lawsuit over delayed deliveries against AstraZeneca, claim reliable sources.

In April, the European Commission had retorted to taking legal action against the drugmaker in hopes of acquiring more doses by mid-year after repeated cuts to supplies caused delays in the EU’s vaccination initiative.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company had shipped around 50 million doses by 7th May, as per reports about the latest EU internal figures for vaccine supplies. In mid-March, AstraZeneca had supposedly promised to deliver 50.2 million vaccine doses to the EU by the end of April.

However, the company had sent only 47.6 million doses by 30th April, as per reports. The firm claimed that it shipped the remaining doses following the first weekend of May after it supposedly received requests to halt shipment to certain countries that were observing public holidays in that duration.

On 26th April, following the lawsuit filed by the EU, AstraZeneca stated that it would deliver almost 50 million doses to the EU by the end of that month.

Under the agreement with the EU, AstraZeneca had reportedly pledged its “best reasonable efforts” to deliver 300 million doses of the vaccine by the end of June. Out of 300 million doses, the company was supposed to deliver 70 million doses by the end of January.

Contrary to its previous undertaking, the company has committed to delivering only 100 million doses by the end of June due to production issues and export restrictions, reports suggest.

The EU has reportedly decided to refrain from the option to seek 100 million additional doses under the contract, indicating its lost confidence in the company. Evidently, the second lawsuit against the drugmaker would allow the EU to potentially seek financial penalties.

Source credits: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/astrazeneca-finally-reaches-vaccine-shipping-milestone-eu-that-was-due-january-2021-05-10/