Covid: European Commission launches legal action against AstraZeneca due to ‘complete failure’ over vaccine supply

The legal case has been launched over AztraZeneca’s "complete failure" to meet delivery and contractual agreements

Ireland’s health minister Stephen Donnelly has announced that a legal case has been started against AstraZeneca by the European Commission.

The legal case has been launched over AztraZeneca’s "complete failure" to meet delivery and contractual agreements relating to the Covid jab, Mr Donnelly said.

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Speaking to the Irish parliament on Thursday (22 April), the health minister said: "With regard to AstraZeneca, a legal case has been initiated by the Commission and earlier this week I have joined Ireland as one of the parties to that legal case, specifically around AstraZeneca's complete failure to meet its delivery and contractual agreements for April, May and June."

Ireland’s health minister Stephen Donnelly has announced that a legal case has been started against AstraZeneca by the European Commission (Photo: Shutterstock)

The pharmaceutical firm was under contract to supply 180 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine - which is enough for 90 million people - to the EU in the second quarter of 2021.

However, EU officials have repeatedly accused the Anglo-Swedish firm of under-delivering.

Numerous European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, suspended their use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March over concerns of blood clot, but then later said they would resume its rollout.

The European regulator has now ruled that "unusual" blood clots should be listed as a "very rare" side effect.

On 7 April, new UK guidance was issued which recommended that people aged 18 to 29 should be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the AstraZeneca jab, after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there is a possible link between the AstraZeneca jab and “extremely rare” blood clots.