The EU and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have reached an agreement which will secure the delivery of the remaining COVID-19 vaccine doses to Member States under the terms of the Advance Purchase Agreement concluded on 27 August 2020 with AstraZeneca. The agreement will also end the pending litigation before the Brussels Court.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said: “Today’s settlement agreement guarantees the delivery of the remaining 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by AstraZeneca to the EU. While this week we reached the important milestone of 70% full vaccination of the EU’s adult population, there are significant differences in vaccination rates between our Member States, and the continued availability of vaccines, including AstraZeneca’s, remain crucial. And as the strongest supporter of global vaccine cooperation and solidarity, we will continue helping the rest of the world. Our aim is to share at least 200 million doses of vaccines through COVAX with low and middle-income countries until the end of this year. Vaccine solidarity is and remains our trademark.”
This settlement agreement provides for the firm commitment by AstraZeneca to deliver, in addition to the around 100 million doses delivered until end of Q2, 135 million doses by the end of 2021 (60 million doses by the end of Q3 and 75 million doses by the end of Q4) and the remaining doses (65 million) by the end of March 2022.This will bring the total number of doses delivered to 300 million doses as agreed under the contract.
Member States will be provided with regular delivery schedules and capped rebates will apply in the event of any delayed doses.
The European Commission presented on 17 June a strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing and deployment of effective and safe vaccines against COVID-19. In return for the right to buy a specified number of vaccine doses in a given timeframe, the Commission finances part of the upfront costs faced by vaccines producers in the form of Advance Purchase Agreements.
In view of the current and new escape SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Commission and the Member States are negotiating with companies already in the EU vaccine portfolio new agreements that would allow to purchase rapidly adapted vaccines in sufficient quantities to reinforce and prolong immunity.
In order to purchase the new vaccines, Member States are allowed to use the React EU package, one of the largest programmes under the new instrument Next Generation EU that continues and extends the crisis response and crisis repair measures.