AstraZeneca to Publish Contract with European Union

AstraZeneca to Publish Contract with European Union

So far, the vaccine contract between AstraZeneca and the EU Commission has not been made public: After harsh criticism, this is now set to change. Moreover, AstraZeneca now plans to deliver more doses than previously reported.

In the dispute regarding the delivery of its corona vaccine to the European Union, AstraZeneca plans to publish the corresponding contract with the European Commission.

The company’s legal team is currently working in consultation with the Commission on a proposal as to which parts should be blacked out for confidentiality reasons. The publication is therefore planned for Friday, February 29.

The EU Commission and AstraZeneca were previously criticized for their lack of transparency. A circumstance, the EU parliament’s Vice President Katarina Barley described as a “problem”.

The contract is particularly controversial since the EU and AstraZeneca interpret it differently: the company’s CEO, Pascal Soriot, stated yesterday that the contract only provided for a so-called best-efforts clause – meaning AstraZeneca must make any necessary effort to satisfy the contractual obligation. The clause thus excludes fixed delivery quantities.

The EU, meanwhile, interprets the contract differently: AstraZeneca has been granted an advance to produce on a stockpile. Prior to the expected approval of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency on Friday, AstraZeneca should have had the required vaccine doses ready. Instead, the EU claims, the company had delivered the doses intended for Europe to Great Britain.

AstraZeneca originally announced that it would deliver around 80 million vaccine doses to the EU by the end of March. However, similar to US company Pfizer previously, AstraZeneca too started facing delivery issues. The aim was then corrected to 30 million doses by the end of March.

However, various media have now unanimously reported that AstraZeneca had once again corrected its delivery commitments to the EU: Although the 80 million doses originally agreed for the first quarter would still not be achieved, the delivery volume will significantly exceed the 30 million doses now anticipated.

The EU Commission and representatives of the 27 member states had a crisis meeting with Soriot on Wednesday, February 27 – initially without result. Brussels remains outraged by the announced cut and insisted on timely fulfillment of the delivery contract for a total of up to 400 million vaccine doses.

(Image by Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

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