US News Vaccines: the hour of accounts between the European Union and AstraZeneca

14:30  12 may  2021
14:30  12 may  2021 Source:   liberation.fr

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Un flacon de vaccin AstraZeneca dans une pharmacie nantaise. © Loic Venance A bottle of AstraZeneca vaccine in a Nantes pharmacy.

Nothing is going to more between the 27 Member States of the European Union and Astrazeneca, the Swedish-British laboratory used as one of the anti-Covid vaccine suppliers. In the center of litigation, delivery delays. On 27 August 2020, the contract signed with the European Commission provided for the provision of 270 million doses of vaccines, plus an option for 100 million additional doses. In the end, only 30 million were provided in the first quarter 2021, out of 120 million planned, and 70 million are scheduled by the end of June, while 180 million were expected. Either only 30% of what had been ordered and pre-financing.

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No renewal after June

After starting to protest mezza voce, the European executive has increased to the upper speed. On April 23, the Commission announced the opening of a referral (urgently) procedure against Astrazeneca before the Court of First Instance of Brussels, since past contracts are of Belgian law. And this Sunday, May 9, during a passage on France Inter, the European Commissioner at the domestic market, Thierry Breton, said about the laboratory: "We did not renew the order beyond the month of June. » Finally Tuesday, a spokesman for the European Commission indicated that the institution calls for the delivery of the delivery of the 90 million doses that were not delivered in the first quarter under penalty of financial penalty.

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The irritation is all the greater in Brussels that the United Kingdom did not really have to undergo delays for delivery of the same supplier. Solicited several times by release , the direction of the French subsidiary of Astrazeneca has refused to any answer that it is on the delays of deliveries or the way in which the laboratory intends to defend itself in the procedure of which it is about. According to a good connoisseur of the file, Astrazeneca's lawyers had to play on the notion of "best effort", (do all that is possible) registered in the contract about deliveries. This would not constitute a firm commitment to provide the number of injections provided. A shunned and underutilized vaccine

whatever the outcome of this procedure before the Belgian justice, the vaccine manufactured by Astrazeneca should not miss in France. Far from it. To date, nearly three million doses are stored in the Hexagon after receiving two million there are a dozen days ago. Especially since, according to figures from the Ministry of Health consulted by

release , this vaccine flows much less well than those of its competitors. As of May 5, AstraZeneca has a 54% utilization rate and a stock greater than sixty days of vaccination, when Pfizer, which uses the Messenger RNA technique, has a rate of use of 89 % and only six days of consumption in reserve.

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Philippe Besset, President of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Trade Unions of France, confirms the lowest membership of the Astrazeneca vaccine:

"You have to find eleven people ready to be vaccinated before opening the bottle and it is rather a galley. I would prefer that I am proposed to exchange my stock of doses of Astrazeneca against injections of Pfizer or Moderna. " Vaccination in the 7,000 pharmacies that have agreed to engage in this process is far from turning at full speed: "Our vaccination capacity is 1.5 million doses per week and from the beginning From the pandemic we achieved 886 000 injections, " details Philippe Besset. The non-renewal of orders announced by Thierry Breton may well be to boost the mistrust that appears to have settled with respect to this vaccine.

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