EU planning to take AstraZeneca to court over vaccine shortfalls

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen - Credit: European Parliament

The European Commission is planning to take vaccine producer AstraZeneca to court over its failure to fulfil its contract with the EU, five EU diplomats have confirmed.

The news, first reported by Politico, follows a meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday in which a majority of EU countries said they would support the legal action against the company for failing to deliver its pledged number of doses.

The Commission hopes that the threat of legal proceedings will make it mandatory for the firm to provide the doses set out in its contract.

A deadline has been set for the end of the week for EU countries to sign off on the legal proceedings.

AstraZeneca plans to deliver 70 million doses by the end of the second quarter of the year - significantly lower than the entire 300 million doses it proposed when the contracts were signed.

It had just delivered just 30 million doses by the end of the first quarter, rather than the 100 million doses it pledged.

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