Covid-19 vaccine: EU sues AstraZeneca for delays

Bars, restaurants, cinemas and theaters were partially reopened in Italy yesterday. The peninsula is therefore hoping to regain some semblance of normality after months of alternating between drastic closings and shy openings.

A large majority of the twenty regions are now classified in yellow, the lowest risk given the pandemic. Bars and restaurants are allowed to be served there and in the evening for the first time in six months on the terrace, although the curfew is still in effect from 10 p.m.

Cinemas, theaters and concert halls offer the public up to 50% of their capacity. Next up are swimming pools, gyms and amusement parks by July 1st.

The EU announced yesterday that it has sued the AstraZeneca laboratory for failing to deliver its anti-Covid vaccine, a process the Swedish-UK group immediately deemed “unfounded”.

“The terms of the contract (signed by Brussels on behalf of the member states) were not respected and the company was unable to implement a reliable strategy to ensure on-time deliveries,” said a European Commission spokesman.

AstraZeneca only shipped 30 million cans of the 120 million contractually promised 120 million cans to EU countries in the first quarter. In the second quarter, only 70 million of the originally planned 180 million are to be made available.

Legal action was launched on Friday, “on behalf of the Commission and on behalf of the 27 member states that unanimously support this process,” added the spokesman, without specifying the court that was seized.

AstraZeneca said in a statement yesterday that the lawsuit was “unfounded” and showed its willingness to “stand firm”.

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