The president of the European Commission has welcomed a Belgian court ruling in a case it brought against pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca over the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
The company, however, also welcomed the ruling.
The Court of First Instance of Brussels today (18 June) ordered AstraZeneca to urgently deliver 50 million doses of vaccine by 27 September 2021.
This figure is lower than the EU had sought, and AstraZeneca said that it expected to hit this target by the end of June.
The court also set out a timetable for vaccine deliveries, which is binding on the company. Under the schedule, the EU is due to receive the first 15 million doses by 26 July.
AstraZeneca will have to pay a penalty of €10 per dose not delivered by these deadlines.
The court found that the company had committed a serious breach of its contractual obligations with the EU. AstraZeneca, however, welcomed the judge’s finding that the European Commission had no exclusivity or right of priority over all other contracting parties.
“This decision confirms the position of the commission: AstraZeneca did not live up to the commitments it made in the contract. It is good to see that an independent judge confirms this”, said commission president Ursula von der Leyen.