A meeting expected between EU officials and responsible of the British laboratory AstraZeneca to talk about the delays in the vaccine production against him covid-19 this Wednesday caused a huge confusion.
A official from EU said the representatives from pharmaceutical company they had “retired” from meeting, an information later confirmed by a spokeswoman for the European Commission.
The laboratory and the EU are embroiled in a bitter controversy following the announcement last Friday by AstraZeneca of delays in the delivery of the doses requested by the EU, which was scheduled to give its approval to this vaccine this week.
Shortly after the Brussels information was released, an AstraZeneca spokeswoman denied it.
We can confirm that we have not withdrawn, we will attend the meeting with the EU officials today (Wednesday), “he told reporters.
At a time when discontent is growing in several countries in the bloc over delays in vaccine deliveries, the EU is pressuring AstraZeneca to comply with a pre-purchase contract signed in August for the delivery of up to 400 million doses of its vaccine , developed together with the University of Oxford.
On Monday, an EU official announced that the laboratory had proposed a new delivery schedule, deemed “unacceptable.”
In addition, he added that the explanations so far offered by the firm had not been “convincing”.
For this reason, a meeting with representatives of AstraZeneca was called for this Wednesday.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said Tuesday that the company was able to supply its vaccines to the UK because it had signed its contract three months earlier and this gave the company time to fix the failures at the British plants.
Soriot added that “anyway, we did not commit to the EU … It is not a contractual commitment. We said: we will do the best we can, but without guaranteeing that we will achieve it.”
The EU has so far authorized the use of two vaccines: Pzifer / BioNTech and Moderna.
Last week, the bloc announced that it was aiming to vaccinate 70% of adults in the 27 member countries by the end of August, a plan that, due to delays in vaccine deliveries, remains a tightrope.