Brussels, Belgium | XINHUA | The contract between the European Union (EU) and vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca is valid until all COVID-19 doses set in the contract have been delivered, said a EU spokesperson on Monday.
“The contract remains in force until the last doses are delivered,” said Stefan de Keersmaecker, European Commission spokesperson for health, quoting a clause of the contract.
The Commission took AstraZeneca to court last month over its failure to respect the commitment to deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses to EU member states. In total, AstraZeneca is supposed to deliver 300 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to EU. So far, the company had only delivered 30 million doses in the first quarter of 2021, rather than the 100 million doses originally promised for that period, according to the spokesperson. AstraZeneca has promised to provide 70 million for the second quarter of 2021.
European Commission chief spokesperson Eric Mamer clarified that the current contract with AstraZeneca covers the period 2020-2021.
The European Commission negotiated with several vaccine manufacturers in Europe, investing in their production capacity in exchange of a promised number of COVID-19 vaccine doses. Unfortunately AstraZeneca was not able to honor the terms of its contract and fell behind schedule, said the Commission.
Reiterating that the COVID-19 vaccine from the company was “very important” for the EU’s vaccine strategy, EU spokespeople said that the bloc doesn’t wish to end the current contract, but wants to see the promised doses delivered.
“We are not saying that we want to terminate the contract… We just want to make sure that we can get to a situation where the company delivers the doses that have been set in the contract,” said Mamer.