The German government has threatened to bring to justice those laboratories that fail to “respect their obligations” for delivering vaccines against Covid-19 in the European Union (EU), amid tensions over delays in the supply of immunizers produced by the British laboratory AstraZeneca.
“If there are companies that do not respect their obligations, we will have to decide on legal consequences,” threatened German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, in an interview with the German newspaper “Die Welt”.
“No company can favor another country over the EU,” he added.
In the past few weeks, relations between European leaders and AstraZeneca have been severely strained due to the British laboratory’s delays in delivering its vaccine against Covid-19.
The pharmaceutical group explained that it could only deliver “the fourth part” of the doses initially promised to the EU in the first quarter of the year, alleging a “drop in yield” at a European plant.
The European Union, for its part, implicitly accused AstraZeneca of favoring the United Kingdom in the distribution of its vaccines, to the detriment of its contractual obligations with the bloc.
On Friday, the European Union reacted by adopting a mechanism to control exports of vaccines produced in its territory. This mechanism will “speed up vaccination”, according to Minister Altmaier.
Pfizer vaccine dose bottle is shown in Germany – Photo: AP Photo
The British group is not the only laboratory to delay its deliveries, causing discontent among European leaders.
Italy last week threatened the American laboratory Pfizer to take legal action for delays in the distribution of its coronavirus vaccine.
European Union approves Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine
This Monday, a national meeting between authorities and vaccine manufacturers will be held in Germany to discuss this issue.
The EU on Friday authorized the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which became the third to obtain permission from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), after Pfizer / BioNTech immunizations, on December 21, and Moderna, in January 6.
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