The European Union failed in its attempt to force AstraZeneca (AZN) to speed deliveries of its Covid-19 vaccine or face huge fines, the latest round in a high-profile battle between the 27-member bloc and the drug maker.
In its 67-page ruling, a court in Brussels refused to require AstraZeneca to supply 120 million doses by the end of June, which the EU had demanded. However, the court set a schedule for 80 million doses to be delivered by Sept. 27 and will require AstraZeneca to pay $11.80 for every dose not delivered by that deadline. The court also criticized the drug maker for a “serious breach” of its contract with the EU after repeatedly failing to meet delivery terms.
The dispute erupted after AstraZeneca was unable to send the EU as many doses as expected. The company committed to ship 300 million doses by June, but later cut its forecast to 100 million doses, citing production delays. The drug maker also said it could not use its U.K. facilities for the EU because of a previous contract with the U.K. government, which demanded priority access for doses made in the U.K.
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