AstraZeneca will supply the European Union in February and April not 31 million, but 40 million of the 80 million agreed doses of its Corona vaccine. Deliveries will also start a week earlier than planned, says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The European Union and the vaccine manufacturer have been locked in a heated debate over supplies since AstraZeneca announced that it would be able to deliver far less than what was currently agreed upon. Production will falter at a Belgian plant. According to EU sources, the contract could be read in such a way that the European Union could count on 120 million doses, leaving only a quarter with 31 million from the promised party.
The Netherlands focused heavily on the vaccine from the British-Swedish company and was dependent on millions of doses in the first quarter. Now the Netherlands has to settle for just over 1.5 million.
However, the new agreement with AstraZeneca is a “step forward,” as von der Leyen tweets. The manufacturer also pledged to increase production in the European Union. AstraZeneca’s refusal to use its British factories to offset faltering European production has been one of the biggest controversies in recent days. The company insisted it was only running for the United Kingdom.
The vaccine was approved for use in the European Union on Friday. It is the third vaccine in the European arsenal, but of the other two countries, most European countries have requested much less.
Earlier in the day, Germany threatened legal action against AstraZeneca and other vaccine makers who “fail to fulfill their obligations”. Although German Minister Altmire did not mention AstraZeneca in many words.
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