On On January 22, AstraZeneca informed the European Union that it would not be able to deliver 100 million doses during the first quarter, as previously promised, but only 31 million doses. This news comes at a very bad time. Previously, BioNTech / Pfizer also reduced deliveries. Governments in all member states are under pressure. The number of injuries is not decreasing enough, there is not much relaxation, and the population is tired. A few vaccinations are given. At the same time, everyone is seeing vaccination in the UK, including AstraZeneca vaccines, is in full swing.
The European Commission is forced to respond forcefully. Publicly asks AstraZeneca to fulfill its contractual obligations. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Suriot responds in a few press interviews. In short, he says: The contract with the European Union only obliges us to do our best, and the British simply asked us before. Conflict escalates, and a secret contract is announced (except for passages, which must be kept secret at AstraZeneca’s request). The CEO didn’t seem to tell the whole truth. The contract states that AstraZeneca guarantees that it has not entered into any other contracts that make the implementation of the contract with the European Union impossible. The company must make the agreed delivery, and it may not invoke the precedence of another contract.
This may conflict with the agreement that AstraZeneca has entered into with the British government. Incidentally, this contract has not been announced yet. Perhaps AstraZeneca made promises to the EU and the UK that simply couldn’t be fulfilled. The contract also stipulates that AstraZeneca will produce vaccines for the European Union in the European Union and the United Kingdom. There are no problems with production at UK locations. This is because we started there a few months ago, the CEO repeated at an online press conference.
Watch an excerpt from AstraZeneca’s CEO press conference (and read below the video):