The European Union will not renew its contract with AstraZeneca after June 2021. To obtain vaccines against Covid-19, it will favor Pfizer and Moderna.
Termination of contract with AstraZeneca: for Emmanuel Macron, Europe has shown pragmatism
The European Union has decided to carry out its threat: the bloc will no longer obtain Covid-19 vaccines from the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. ” We did not renew the order after June. We will see what will happen », Declared about the contract of the European Union with AstraZeneca the European Commissioner for Internal Trade, Thierry Breton, in an interview with France Inter on May 9, 2021.
A little earlier, responding to a question in the European Parliament, Emmanuel Macron said: “ We vaccinate with this vaccine in France and in Europe. We have to keep doing it because it will help us out of the crisis. But for subsequent orders, especially in response to variants, we see that other vaccines are more effective today. It is the testimony of European pragmatism, which I welcome “.
EU-AstraZeneca trial to start on May 7, 2021
But the real point of contention between the European Union and AstraZeneca is the delays in the supply of vaccines. In the first quarter of 2021, AstraZeneca was only able to deliver 30 million doses, against the 120 million to which the pharmaceutical company had committed. AstraZeneca has also reduced its deliveries for the second quarter: 70 million instead of 180 million. This, due to problems in a production unit in Belgium. The complaint against AstraZeneca was registered by a Belgian court on May 7, 2021, the first hearing in this trial will take place on Wednesday May 12, 2021.
Whatever the outcome of this trial, one thing is certain: the next orders for Covid-19 vaccines will cost Europe more. And not just because the EU is changing supplier. According to the words of Thierry Breton, quoted by Reuters, the development by Pfizer of second-generation vaccines, effective against the new variants, will require new research and the acquisition of new equipment. The European Union has already signed a contract with Pfizer for the period 2021-2023: 1.8 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine should be provided to it over this period.