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AstraZeneca Can Face Legal Action Over Vaccine Shortfalls To EU: Reuters

AstraZeneca Can Face Legal Action Over Vaccine Shortfalls To EU: Reuters
  • The European Commission is reportedly working on legal proceedings against AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) as the company cut COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to the European Union.
  • The move comes as one step further as an E.U. plan to break off ties with AstraZeneca after repeated cuts in vaccine supplies to the bloc, contributing to significant delays in Europe’s vaccine rollout.
  • Europe’s is vaccination drive has already gone off-road after rare, but life-threatening blood clot cases were reported after receiving AZN shot.
  • This month, the European Medicines Agency concluded that unusual blood clots should be listed as a “very rare side effect” of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it confirmed that the overall benefit-risk remains positive.
  • Politico first reported the news about the legal case. An E.U. official involved in talks confirmed the E.U. was preparing to sue the company, reported Reuters.
  • “E.U. states have to decide if they (will) participate. It is about the fulfillment of deliveries by the end of the second quarter,” the official said.
  • Politico, citing five unnamed European diplomats, reported that most E.U. countries at the meeting said they would support suing the company.
  • In March, the European Commission sent a legal letter to the company in the first step of a potential legal procedure.
  • Brussels also questioned how AstraZeneca spent over €224 million ($270 million) granted by the E.U. in September to buy vaccine ingredients. The company had not provided sufficient documents confirming the purchases.
  • Under the contract, the company had committed to delivering 180 million vaccine doses to the E.U. in the second quarter, totaling 300 million in the period from December to June.
  • Instead, now the company aims to ship only 100 million, citing production problems and export restrictions.
  • The E.U. has decided not to take up an option to buy 100 million extra doses of AstraZeneca under the contract, an E.U. official said, after supply delays and safety concerns linked to the vaccine.
  • Price Action: AZN shares are up 0.77% at $53.52 in premarket trading on the last check Thursday.

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