Shameless VDL ‘sinks to new low’ as EU chief sues AstraZeneca – ‘her feathers are ruffled’

AstraZeneca: France and Sweden residents 'refusing vaccine'

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German MEP Gunnar Beck hit out at the Commission’s targeting of the Anglo-Swedish drugs giant despite it producing its jab on a non-profit basis. It comes after EU diplomats signed off on plans to take the firm to court amid growing anger at the bloc’s shambolic immunisation drive Mr Beck told “The European Commission going after AstraZeneca, who created a vaccine on a non-profit basis, is a new low even for the EU.

“This is akin to the time it allowed money to be stolen out of bank accounts in Cyprus during the 2013 financial crisis.”

The senior MEP insisted that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is attempting to cover-up her own failings in the bloc’s jabs rollout by targeting AstraZeneca.

He said: “The Commission should have had its own house in order instead of going after AstraZeneca.

“No wonder the company has said they’ll never practice such corporate altruism again.

“Britain doing better than the EU in its vaccine rollout really has ruffled feathers of the big birds of Brussels.”

The Commission raised the prospect of taking legal action against AstraZeneca at a private meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

But a number of countries, including Germany, raised concerns about targeting the firm.

Influential member states claimed the dispute could harm future attempts by the bloc to do business with vaccine makers.

They also warned it would not guarantee deliveries to EU nations and could dent confidence in the AstraZeneca jab, which is still widely used on the Continent.

Eurocrats have since received the backing of most member states but have not yet announced their next move.

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The lawsuit is expected to challenge AstraZeneca’s alleged inability to deliver doses to member states during the second quarter of the year.

The Anglo-Swedish firm has said it will deliver about 70 million doses by the end of the first six months of the year but had pledged to deliver 300 million.

Because of the row, Mrs von der Leyen has announced she will not take up an offer of a further 100 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.

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A Commission spokesman yesterday confirmed the deadline for that option had lapsed.

Instead Brussels is pressing ahead with plans to buy 1.8 billion Pfizer-made vaccines.

The Commission-led jabs programme will only use shots made using the mRNA technology.

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