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EU, AstraZeneca strike deal to end Covid-19 vaccine dispute

Brussels, Sep 4 (Prensa Latina) The European Commission and AstraZeneca have settled a long dispute over coronavirus vaccine supply that will provide the bloc with 200 million doses by march 2022.

By the end of June, the company delivered nearly 100 million doses, a third of what it had promised in its contract with the EU. Court hearing was to continue in September.

Under the settlement, AstraZeneca has committed to deliver 60 million doses of its vaccine, Vaxzevria, by the end of the third quarter this year, 75 million by the end of the fourth quarter and 65 million by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

‘I’m very pleased that we have been able to reach a common understanding which allows us to move forward and work in collaboration with the European Commission to help overcome the pandemic,’ Ruud Dobber, AstraZeneca’s executive vice president for biopharmaceuticals, wrote in a release.

Most of EU member states have already excluded AstraZeneca vaccine from their immunization programs, which they could use in poor countries through Covax mechanism, said EC’s Health spokesperson Stefan de Keersmaecker.

The EU began legal proceedings against the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker in April after the company failed to supply EU countries on time. AstraZeneca was ordered to supply 50 million doses by late September or face fines.

Although the legal battle is bringing to an end, the EU stopped signing agreements with AstraZeneca as it did with other pharmaceutical labs including the US-German Pfizer/BionTech, from which it was ordered as many as 1.8 billion additional doses through 2023.

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