| 20 May 2024, Monday |

AstraZeneca, EU reach settlement on delivery of COVID-19 vaccines

The European Commission and AstraZeneca said on Friday that they had achieved an agreement on the British drugmaker’s delivery of outstanding COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as the resolution of current litigation in Brussels.

The agreement lifts a big cloud for AstraZeneca, whose low-cost, readily transportable vaccine has encountered a slew of hurdles, including a lawsuit and concerns about potential adverse effects. It also enables the European Union to speed up immunizations in the event of a shortage.

AstraZeneca has agreed to deliver 60 million doses of its Vaxzevria vaccine by the end of the third quarter this year, 75 million by the end of the fourth quarter, and 65 million by the end of the first quarter of 2022 under the terms of the settlement.

In April, the European Commission filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca for failing to honor its contract for the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations and failing to have a “reliable” plan in place to assure timely deliveries.

Member states would be given with regular supply schedules under the new deal, according to the EU’s executive body, and capped rebates will be applied if any doses are delayed.

“There are significant differences in vaccination rates between our member states, and the continued availability of vaccines, including AstraZeneca’s, remain crucial,” said EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides.

  • Reuters