AstraZeneca denies breaching EU vaccine contract

Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration

British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on Monday denied having breached its contract to supply the European Union with 300 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.

“AstraZeneca has fully complied with the Advance Purchase Agreement with the European Commission and will strongly defend itself in court,” the company said in a written statement published shortly after the EU executive branch announced that it was taking legal action against AstraZeneca over alleged breaches of its Covid-19 vaccine supply contract, the dpa news agency reported.

“We believe any litigation is without merit and we welcome this opportunity to resolve this dispute as soon as possible,” the statement added.

The company said that it expects to deliver 50 million doses to European countries by the end of April, in line with its forecast.

“Vaccines are difficult to manufacture, as evidenced by the supply challenges several companies are facing in Europe and around the world,” AstraZeneca said.

Earlier in the day, the spokesperson of the European Commission, Stefan De Keersmaecker, had said: “The company (AstraZeneca) has not been in a position to come up with a reliable strategy to ensure the timely delivery of doses.

“We want to make sure that there is a speedy delivery of a sufficient number of doses that European citizens are entitled to, and which have been promised on the basis of the contract.”

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