EU considers legal action against vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca 

According to reports, the EU is preparing to start legal action against the vaccine maker AstraZeneca as it has failed to deliver the number of doses it had committed to late last year. 

In September 2020, AstraZeneca said it would aim to deliver 180 million doses of the vaccine to the EU by the second quarter of this year. However, the company hasn’t supplied these doses. So far, the manufacturer has only delivered 31 million doses to the European Union. 

In a meeting with the ambassadors of the 27 European member states, the Commission said that it was currently considered legal action over the delivery and distribution issues, which have seriously damaged the bloc’s vaccination rollout this year. 

In a report from Politico, a European Commission spokesperson Stefan De Keeresmaecke said when interviewed, “What matters is that we ensure the delivery of a sufficient number of doses in line with the company’s earlier commitments.”

He added, “Together with the member states, we are looking at all options to make this happen.” However, the reports on the potential legal action have yet to be confirmed. 

Would the lawsuit secure more vaccine doses? 

In a statement, an EU official said that “The commission wants to move fast. It is a matter of days.” However, the official also noted that before any legal action can go ahead, there are some legal questions that need to be considered to move the process forward. 

There has been a lot of support for legal action among the 27 ambassadors. But will this ensure the EU gets the doses it needs? 

According to the reports, the Commission is currently focused on ensuring any upcoming deliveries are in line with the earlier commitments that were made by AstraZeneca. 

But, a number of countries have expressed concerns that the lawsuit could hinder the rollout further and wouldn’t necessarily secure the doses the EU needs.

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