Photo: AstraZeneca vaccine factory in senev, Belgium. /Associated Press
[Ta Kung Pao] the BBC and the Guardian reported that the European Union recently had a dispute with British Pharmaceutical Company AstraZeneca on vaccine supply. The Ministry of health of Belgium said on the 28th that it had investigated AstraZeneca’s local pharmaceutical factories at the request of the European Commission to determine whether the vaccine “out of stock” supplied to the European Union was really caused by the lack of production capacity claimed by the pharmaceutical companies.
Officials of Belgium’s Federal Drug Administration visited a pharmaceutical factory of AstraZeneca in seneffe, eno Province, Belgium for the first time on July 27 to extract samples and record them. It is expected that further inspection of production equipment will be conducted in the next few days, and the investigation report will take several days to come out. A spokesman for Belgium’s Ministry of Health said the process was “completely transparent and objective”;.
AstraZeneca originally planned to supply 80 million doses of vaccine to 27 EU countries by the end of March, but later pointed out that due to problems in the European production line, it cut the supply volume by 60% to 31 million doses, angering the EU. Soliott, the company’s chief executive, argued in an interview on the 26th that the contract signed with the UK was three months earlier than that of the EU, and AstraZeneca was only required to “do its best” instead of having a contractual obligation to provide a certain number of new vaccines.
Representatives of the two sides met on the 27th to discuss, but the differences were difficult to resolve. EU health commissioner kiriyakidis said that he regretted the lack of a clear delivery schedule. The European Union requires AstraZeneca to send vaccines to Europe from two normal British factories to fill the EU vaccine gap. She stressed that pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturers need to bear their moral, social responsibility and contractual spirit. The EU rejects the “first sign, first served” logic of vaccines, which may work in nearby meat shops, but not in contracts. ”