BRUSSELS plays down claims that the EU plans to sue AstraZeneca
The European Commission has today denied claims that Brussels has started legal action against Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca after several sources reported on Thursday, April 22 that the EU would sue the company for failing to supply the agreed number of vaccine doses to the 27 member states.
Ireland’s Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, told the parliament yesterday that a “legal case has been initiated by the Commission”, claiming the law suit was “specifically around AstraZeneca’s complete failure to meet its delivery and contractual agreements for April, May and June”.
According to Spanish news outlet Politico, the decision to take legal action was made during a meeting of EU diplomats on Wednesday, April 21, as a means of forcing the Anglo-Swedish company to fulfil its contractual obligations.
It was reported that the diplomatic sources confirmed that they would give it until the end of the week before they file the lawsuit, in the culmination of a dispute that has been raging since January when AstraZeneca claimed it couldn’t supply nearly as many vaccinations as it had initially promised to Europe.
However, in a statement to Euronews, European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer said that the EC has “not launched a legal procedure against AstraZeneca at this point in time”.
Earlier this month, the pharmaceutical company claimed that it was “working tirelessly” to increase its supply to Spain, after regional leaders were left furious over the impact the delays were having on Spain’s vaccine rollout plan.
The rollout of the AstraZeneca jab in Spain may be slowed down by more than supply shortages, however, as the Minister of Defence confirmed on Friday, April 23 that a Spanish army corporal has been rushed to hospital where he remains in a very serious condition after receiving the jab.
Margarita Robles, confirmed that the soldier was admitted to the University Clinic of Navarra after being injected with a dose of AstraZeneca on April 7. The corporal, a member of the America 66 Infantry Regiment of Mountain Hunters in Pamplona, began experiencing severe headaches and discomfort immediately after getting the jab, according to a source from the Spanish Troop and Sailor Association (ATME).