Mon, 10 May 2021

The European Commission has said it is still waiting for AstraZeneca to respond to a letter sent to the company in March as part of a dispute-resolution process, seeking clarification concerning continued supply shortfalls.

"The Commission still expects the company to clarify a number of outstanding issues," a spokesman for the EU told the press on Monday, adding that a meeting had been held on the matter.

On Sunday, AstraZeneca's Director of Global Media Relations Matthew Kent told Reuters that they had a positive meeting with the European Commission last week. "We can confirm we have responded to the Commission within the required time-frame of the dispute resolution mechanism, and that our team had a very collaborative meeting with the Commission last week," Kent said in an email.

The commission had confirmed earlier on Sunday that it had sent a letter to the Anglo-Swedish company calling it "a notice for dispute settlement." "At this stage we are still waiting for the necessary elements...we remain in contact with AstraZeneca to ensure timely delivery of a sufficient number of doses," the spokesman told Reuters.

Under the contracts signed between the two parties, the EU had expected 120 million doses by the end of March from the Anglo-Swedish company. However, only 30.12 million doses were delivered.

The jab's rollout across the EU has been hampered by supply issues as well as links to potentially fatal blood clotting, which in turn saw the vaccine temporarily suspended in many countries.

According to Reuters, Brussels has attempted to purchase a further 10 million AstraZeneca shots from production sites in India to make up for a shortfall in supply from European factories.


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