The tension between the European Union and AstraZeneca over the deliveries of the coronavirus vaccine continues to register new chapters. Brussels has required the UK-based pharmaceutical company to comply with the agreed shipment schedule and have requested part of the production of the four factories that this company employs in Europe, as revealed by the newspaper El País.
The purpose of this petition is cover the 60% cut in shipments for the first half of the year that AstraZeneca announced last Friday due to problems in production. This percentage represents a total of up to 31 million doses of the vaccine against COVID-19.
The response of the European Union comes after the executive director of the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company, Pascal Soriot, stated that, unlike the countries of the European Union, the The United Kingdom would not suffer delays in the deliveries of the vaccine due to the fact that it sealed the contract earlier. Specifically, this agreement was closed three months earlier.
“We reject the logic that the first person who arrives first is treated. It can work in neighborhood butcher shops, but not with our agreements ”, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said Wednesday. For this reason, the European Union has made the request to receive part of the production of these factories, which are located in Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Meeting between the parties
On the afternoon of this Wednesday there was finally a meeting between the representatives of the European Union and AstraZeneca with the aim of finding a solution to a situation that has provoked the indignation of the Commission. This organization has signed an agreement with the pharmaceutical company that collects the distribution of 400 million doses of the vaccine.
Part of the 336 million euros that the European Union will pay for this dose has already been disbursed, so the agreement is considered binding even before the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has authorized its use, something that could happen in the coming days.
According to El País, this investment should go to increase the production capacity of AstraZeneca so that in this way it would be possible to have available doses at the moment in which the EMA approves its use in Europe.
The production problems alleged by the company have worsened this Wednesday after it had been located a suspicious package at its Wrexham (Wales) plant, situation that has led to the evacuation of workers and that stop production at this factory until further notice.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.