The EU and Astrazeneca have put an end this Friday a months before the public opinion and the courts. After two judgments in Belgium, a sentence and the doors of a second, both parties have reached an agreement for the delivery of 200 million doses of their Vaccine against the VOCID19, an advance that will end the legal dispute.
"Today's agreement guarantees the delivery of the remaining 200 million doses, although this week we reached the important milestone of full vaccination of 70% of EU adults, there are significant differences in vaccination rates between our Member States , and the continuous availability of vaccines, including that of Astrazeneca, remains crucial. In addition, being the greatest advocates of cooperation and global solidarity on vaccines, we will continue to help the rest of the world. The objective is to share at least 200 million Vaccine doses through Covax with low and middle-income countries until the end of this year. Solidarity with vaccines is and remains our registered trademark, "the Commissioner of Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides.
The European Commission, which since 2020 is responsible for the negotiation and purchase of vaccines on behalf of the 27, attended justice after the unilateral announcement by the pharmacist that could not face its acquired commitments. Brussels first tried to convince the company for the good, then resorted to the pressure in public and in private, resorted to the arbitration provided for in the contracts and before the failure of all the ways was finally decanted by the legal route in Belgium.
At the beginning of the year, the Anglosueca firm informed the EU that it could not meet the agreed delivery of 120 million vaccines provided for the first quarter of the year. The estimate was falling, first to 100 million, then 80 and in the end it only reached 30 million in the month of March. The EU never accepted the version of the company and demanded that the signed be respected. Astrazeneca is that the contract does not guarantee a specific volume, but would be made every effort to achieve it. The 27, however, tried to prove that it was not like that and that Astrazeneca did not use all his abilities and facilities, well because he had signed too many agreements with too many clients, either by the pressure of the British government, which he would have according to that vision priority in deliveries , Something allegedly illegal, according to Brussels.
In June, the Court of First Instance of Brussels recognized in a ruling that the company had violated the contracts and that he did not do everything in his hand to deliver the hundreds of millions of agreed vaccines. And it gave him a concrete calendar to do it. The judge, however, did not punish the pharmacist as he asked for the European Commission, questioning the solidity of what was signed in August of last year.
The European Commission claimed the delivery of 120 million dose quickly and a total of 300 million before the end of September, as it appeared in the agreements signed last year. The court however set a much less burdenday delivery calendar: 15 million doses before July 26; another 20 million before August 23; and 15 million more before September 27. But that does not mean that Astrazeneca had to deliver 50 million additional besides those who have already referred to that day. The pharmacist had given 30 million in hand until March and justice simply told him that he should add 50 more before October. Actually, in these months Astrazeneca had already contributed 40 million more to the EU. So actually I just had to supply little more than 10 million here at the end of summer, something that was going to happen without any problem.
The agreement reached now, before a second complaint was resolved in the courts, contemplates that AstraZeneca will deliver 135 million additional doses (which add up to 100 million already delivered) before the end of this year, 60 million before the end of this year This month and another 75 before December is over. In addition, a last delivery of 65 million units is contemplated by March 2022. Every added it would take up to 300 million doses that were signed in August 2020, the complete package.
It is the desired result, but with delays. If there were additional delays, the EU would receive a reimbursement of 10% of the cost of each dose for each month of waiting, of 25% for every two months and up to 40% thereafter. Astrazeneca will have the responsibility, but it is freed from any possible fine for the delays incurred so far, for disgust of Brussels.
The Commission has explained that it will bring to the capitals a schedule of deliveries as soon as possible. Many countries do not already have Astrazeneca for their immunization plans, but for others it will continue to be key, because they bear a huge delay with respect to their neighbors. In addition, the EU plans to donate a good part of these doses to the most needy non-Community countries.
The extrajudicial agreement does not imply a change of draft. There was a lot of pressure in spring, but now everything has changed. The result leaves serious doubts about the solidity of signed contracts, but having been fulfilling the rest of the suppliers, and above all Pfizer, the situation has been under control and the feeling in Brussels is satisfaction.Date Of Update: 03 September 2021, 10:43