The Herald on Sunday

AstraZenec­a committed ‘serious breach’


A BELGIAN court has ruled that coronaviru­s vaccine-maker AstraZenec­a had committed a “serious breach” of its contract with the European Union amid a major legal battle over delivery obligation­s that has tarnished the company’s image.

The court ordered AstraZenec­a to deliver a total of 80.2 million doses to the EU from the time the contract was agreed up until September 27.

The ruling said the company did not appear to have made a “best reasonable effort” to meet the delivery schedule because it had not used its UK production sites.

But the Anglo-Swedish company claimed victory, saying that this was far fewer than the 120 million doses that the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, was seeking in total by the end of June.

It also welcomed the court’s acknowledg­ement that it was under unpreceden­ted pressure.

While its deliveries will continue this year, the commission has already decided not to renew its contract with the company.

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