Brussels (Associated Press)-The dispute between the EU and AstraZeneca intensified on Wednesday, and the British-Swiss drugmaker denied the EU’s assertion that it would withdraw from vaccine supply negotiations.
AstraZeneca said in a statement that it still plans to meet with EU officials in Brussels later in the day. EU officials said that the company has notified the EU that it will not participate in meetings to discuss postponed vaccine commitments. This is the third such meeting in a few days.
European Commission spokesperson Dana Spinnert said: “AstraZeneca’s representatives announced this morning that they have informed us this morning that their participation has not been confirmed.”
The dispute between AstraZeneca and the European Union has raised concerns about vaccine nationalism, as some countries are eager to end the pandemic and return to normal racetracks to provide precious vaccine injections.
The latest disagreement between the two parties came after AstraZeneca rejected allegations from the European Union that the company failed to fulfill its promise to provide a coronavirus vaccine. AstraZeneca said that due to problems with its rapidly expanding production capacity, the figures in the contract signed with the European Union are unachievable goals.
After EU leaders were angry and criticized for a few days about the news that AstraZeneca’s initial shipments would be lower than expected, CEO Pascal Soriot was accepting the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The above comments were made during the interview.
The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said last week that the company plans to reduce initial EU deliveries from 80 million to 31
“Our contract is not a contractual promise,” Soriot said. “This is the best effort. Basically, we said that we will do our best, but we can’t guarantee that we will succeed. In fact, we were a bit delayed after getting there.”
AstraZeneca said in a statement that it understands and agrees that “it is frustrated that the initial supply of vaccines we deliver to the European Union will be lower than expected.”
On Monday, the EU threatened to impose strict export controls on the COVID-19 vaccine produced by the EU within a few days.
The European Union, with 450 million citizens and the economic and political influence of the world’s largest trading bloc, lags far behind Israel and the United Kingdom in providing coronavirus vaccination for its healthcare workers and the most vulnerable. Since the beginning of the pandemic, despite more than 400,000 confirmed virus deaths, nonetheless.
The shortage of the planned delivery of AstraZeneca vaccine is due to the slowdown in the distribution of Pfizer-BioNTech injections, and the company upgraded the production facilities of a factory in Belgium.
Kirka reports from London.
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