The European Commission has reached an agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca that will end their legal battle over the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
In a statement, the commission said that the settlement would secure the delivery of the remaining vaccine doses to EU member states, under the terms of an advance purchase agreement concluded in August last year.
The EU had launched legal proceedings against AstraZeneca in April, accusing it of not delivering on its supply commitments.
Under the agreement announced today (3 September), AstraZeneca will deliver 135 million doses by the end of 2021, with another 65 million due by the end of March 2022.
According to the commission, this will bring the total number of doses delivered to 300 million doses – the number agreed under the initial contract.
In the event of any delay to the new delivery schedule, capped rebates on the cost of each delayed dose will apply as follows:
- 10% for one month of delay,
- 25% for two months of delay, and
- 40% for three months of delay or more.
“While this week we reached the important milestone of 70% full vaccination of the EU's adult population, there are significant differences in vaccination rates between our member states, and the continued availability of vaccines – including AstraZeneca's – remains crucial,” said Stella Kyriakides (commissioner for health and food safety).
Ruud Dobber (executive vice-president of AztraZeneca’s bio-pharmaceuticals division) said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to reach a common understanding, which allows us to move forward and work in collaboration with the European Commission to help overcome the pandemic.”