EU Lawsuit Against AstraZeneca Begins: Why Is EU Pivoting To Pfizer?

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After the European Union filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca, they are pivoting to the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus shot with a record agreement to buy up to 1.8 billion doses

 

The agreement with Pfizer would be the world’s biggest single deal for a Covid-19 vaccine to date.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the landmark purchase on Friday during a visit to a Pfizer manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium.

European Commission’s lawyers are pressing for immediate deliveries of doses from all of Astra Zanaeca’s factories.

The legal case is the latest in an ongoing saga between the European Union and the Anglo-Swedish company.

Both have been at loggerheads over the latter’s alleged shortfall of deliveries to the bloc.

More than a year after the start of the pandemic, a large part of Europe is grappling with the third COVID-19 wave.
The continent is enduring a grim spring this year, as the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalisations and death are at an all-time rise.
The 27 nations of the EU had ordered 300 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca to be delivered by the end of June. But deliveries of the vaccine repeatedly fell millions of doses short.
The company has dismissed allegations it was in breach of contract several times.  CEO Pascal Soriot in January highlighted that its contract is based on the company’s best efforts to deliver to schedule and that targets are not legally binding.

In the meanwhile, Britain’s medicine regulator said there had been a further 41 reports of rare blood clots after doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

However, the study says that the benefits of the shot continued to outweigh the risks for the majority of people.

AstraZeneca’s Indian Connection
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India as Covishield.
COVID-19 In Europe

While the growth of COVID-19 infections is slowing down in some European countries, others are experiencing an increase.

According to numbers by Johns Hopkins University published on Our World in Data, the UK and Spain experienced their third waves early on in the year and in short succession with the fall’s second waves. While the UK’s battle with the B.1.1.7 variant and subsequent successful vaccination campaign made for a stark improvement of the situation, Spain recently saw case numbers rise once more in what would constitute a fourth wave for the country.

France was one of the first in Europe to implement a second lockdown in late October but was more hesitant during the third wave. The country locked down for the third time in mid-March but even one month later, new case numbers show no real improvement.

Germany went through two waves without ever coming out of its second lockdown, which started November 1, but was tightened significantly on December 16.

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