AstraZeneca regrets the European Commission’s decision to take legal action over the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Following an unprecedented year of scientific discovery, very complex negotiations, and manufacturing challenges, our company is about to deliver almost 50m doses to European countries by the end of April, in line with our forecast. AstraZeneca has fully complied with the Advance Purchase Agreement with the European Commission and will strongly defend itself in court. We believe any litigation is without merit and we welcome this opportunity to resolve this dispute as soon as possible.
We appreciate the work done by political leaders and healthcare professionals across the Member States that has made the rollout of vaccination campaigns in Europe possible, and we are committed to helping as much as we can. Vaccines are difficult to manufacture, as evidenced by the supply challenges several companies are facing in Europe and around the world. We are making progress addressing the technical challenges and our output is improving, but the production cycle of a vaccine is very long which means these improvements take time to result in increased finished vaccine doses.
Much work is ahead of us in the EU and elsewhere, as we continue to deal with the terrible pandemic and the roll out of vaccination programmes. AstraZeneca has an important role to play, and our intent remains to do that fairly and equitably at no profit during the pandemic in the EU and around the world.
The EU has supported the COVAX facility for equitable distribution of vaccines to low-and middle-income countries. AstraZeneca is currently the leading supplier to more than 100 countries through COVAX providing 97% of its supply to date. Each dose has been made with vaccine serum originating from outside the EU.
We look forward to working constructively with the EU Commission to vaccinate as many people as possible. Many thousands of our employees working around the clock have been driven by a passion to help the world at no profit; they remain firmly committed to delivering our vaccine to the people of Europe and around the world.