EU warns Pfizer over sending Covid vaccine doses to Britain

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Just my opinion
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The EU has backed down

From the BBC website

"The EU has reversed its decision to temporarily override part of the Brexit deal amid an ongoing row over Covid vaccine supplies in the bloc."
"Mistake",. " misjudgement". " blunder"
These are just some of words EU insiders have been using privately to describe the European Commission's initial decision on Friday to suspend areas of the Brexit deal dealing with Northern Ireland, a part of its Covid vaccine row.

Looks like cooler heads have prevailed in Brussels.
Last edited by Just my opinion; 4 weeks ago
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mnot
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(Original post by DanB1991)
But that is the precisely the point.

The company as a whole agreed to supply the EU with the vaccine and agreed to ensure their 'primary' production factories would be used regardless if they were in the UK or EU.

We now know the Oxford plant was included in this agreement as a primary factory. The whole contract is pretty much a non-issue. AstraZeneca failed to deliver as agreed, so the EU is stopping them sending vaccines made in their plants in the EU to the UK.

By contrast AstraZeneca is refusing to send vaccines made in the UK to make up the shortfall in the EU due to an agreement they made with the UK, ignoring the fact their agreement with the EU stipulated that UK production should be used to make up the shortfall if it came from the Oxford site.

Ultimately AstraZeneca is in the wrong here.
Ive obviously not poured through the contract but the UK based factories are listed in the contract as one of the AZ factories not that it would be used as a factory.

The reports about the contract apparently also specify the logistical & production processes about producing vaccinations through biological processes and that inevitably their can be delays.

Now as I say I’ve not poured over the contract but I highly doubt AZ a partially Swedish company would back themselves over this so heavily or release the contract or Barnier would tell the EU to take a step back if the measures about the supply chains and biological processes weren’t clearly outlined elsewhere in the contract.
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jackmarshal757
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It’s a dirty move from the EU, they were the ones to criticise our rollout as being too quick off the mark, now they’re just embarrassing themselves with those remarks and especially France.

Just because we aren’t in the EU that doesn’t justify what’s going on right now
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DanB1991
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(Original post by mnot)
Ive obviously not poured through the contract but the UK based factories are listed in the contract as one of the AZ factories not that it would be used as a factory.

The reports about the contract apparently also specify the logistical & production processes about producing vaccinations through biological processes and that inevitably their can be delays.

Now as I say I’ve not poured over the contract but I highly doubt AZ a partially Swedish company would back themselves over this so heavily or release the contract or Barnier would tell the EU to take a step back if the measures about the supply chains and biological processes weren’t clearly outlined elsewhere in the contract.
It was the EU commission who release the contract, not AZ. The contract specifies which 'Major' factories must be used to ensure demand is met and the Oxford factory is listed as one of these. AZ is arguing that due to their contract with the UK, they must prioritise UK made vaccines for the UK, the problem however is that this contradicts their contract with the EU. The EU also argues that the UK plants are part of the Major supply chain and nowhere in the agreement does it state they're excluded.

There's a very specific section (5.4) where AZ, a swedish company outside of the EU, is requested to make their best efforts to produce the vaccine intended for the EU within their boarders. However it also clearly stated that the UK is also included under this.

It's most likely going to take in-depth legal interpretation to decide which contract trumps which.

They have however been liaising with AZ on what precise details they're allowed to release publicly due to GDPR and all that jazz. Neither side would not release the document if they thought they were in the wrong. However AZ is in a tight spot because they're still ultimately unable to deliver what they promised.


The EU is quite understandably upset about not being delivered what was promised and this pro-brexit (or anti brexit coverage depending on your viewpoint) coverage paints them in an unnecessarily bad light in trying to 'bully' a UK company. I think the issues would be exactly the same if we were still in the EU.
Last edited by DanB1991; 4 weeks ago
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mnot
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(Original post by DanB1991)
It was the EU commission who release the contract, not AZ. The contract specifies which 'Major' factories must be used to ensure demand is met and the Oxford factory is listed as one of these. AZ is arguing that due to their contract with the UK, they must prioritise UK made vaccines for the UK, the problem however is that this contradicts their contract with the EU. The EU also argues that the UK plants are part of the Major supply chain and nowhere in the agreement does it state they're excluded.

It's most likely going to take in-depth legal interpretation to decide which contract trumps which.

They have however been liaising with AZ on what precise details they're allowed to release publicly due to GDPR and all that jazz. Neither side would not release the document if they thought they were in the wrong. However AZ is in a tight spot because they're still ultimately unable to deliver what they promised.


The EU is quite understandably upset about not being delivered what was promised and this pro-brexit (or anti brexit coverage depending on your viewpoint) coverage paints them in an unnecessarily bad light in trying to 'bully' a UK company. I think the issues would be exactly the same if we were still in the EU.
Both AZ & the EU published the contract.
The contract has a clause saying AZ must make every reasonable effort to supply the order. The supply chains for the distribution were drawn up separately and the EU one was completed in liaison with the EU. It appears the UK likely had higher contractual obligations due to signing earlier.

A lot will come down to what is considered reasonable effort to deliver what was promised. Now as the information is coming out it is clear that without detailed knowledge of the biological process required to develop vaccines it's hard to say if AZ is in breach of their contract or not but I can't see why they wouldn't make every reasonable effort. The contract lists all AZ production sites options but as it doesn't specify where it will be manufactured this could not be relevant and just the EU using this as an excuse to apply pressure on AZ.

Doesn't change the fact that the UK supply chain was drawn up separately and the EU has no right to leverage the UK government which has no contract with the EU and essentially trying to extort the UK with the Pfizer vaccine. The UK managed to negotiate better, they secured higher guarantees for 2021 which likely is to do with less total needed and the agreement being reached 7 months before deliveries as opposed to the EU reaching an agreement 4 months before the deliveries were needed.

Now giving AZ 4 months to make every effort to make a higher volume is obviously harder to deliver then a lower volume & more time. It's no surprise AZ has made better progress with the UK order assuming they made every reasonable effort with both orders. I've no doubt the EU will continue to press as this is embarrassing for them.

AZ is a Anglo-Swedish company as well, its both British & European.
Last edited by mnot; 4 weeks ago
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Rakas21
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While the above highlights what an interesting legal challenge this will be it Is worth pointing out that in reality they are only arguing about whether Astrazenica will be sued. The reality is that no UK government will freely allow the EU to try divert vaccines produced in the UK and out of the EU we have the legal power to place whatever export constraints we want.

It's a non-story in the short term.
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uberteknik
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The EU Commission know they have an impending catastrophe if they cannot ramp up delivery of vaccines across the 27 member states.

To match the UK roll out rate as a percentage of the population, the EU will need to administer upwards of 3 million doses per day. At that rate, they would burn through the entire A-Z UK supply in less than 30 days. Trading UK lives for EU member state lives.

The contractual wrangles are symptomatic of the EU Commission's desperate attempt to secure deliveries by using whatever leverage they have available and recover from an abject EU management failure. Strength in economy of scale is also is their greatest weakness - that they are not agile enough to react quickly to a rapidly changing situation.

Whichever way the EU tries to spin their actions, it does not hide a truth that Brussels will bully whomever gets in the way of having their way.

The world is watching.
Last edited by uberteknik; 4 weeks ago
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Rakas21)
While the above highlights what an interesting legal challenge this will be it Is worth pointing out that in reality they are only arguing about whether Astrazenica will be sued. The reality is that no UK government will freely allow the EU to try divert vaccines produced in the UK and out of the EU we have the legal power to place whatever export constraints we want.

It's a non-story in the short term.
What are they going to sue AstraZeneca for?

AstraZeneca is the only pharmaceutical company that’s providing vaccines at cost?

the EU delayed because they wanted to make sure big German and French pharmaceutical companies got their fair share of the market enabling wealth transfer from poorer EU nations to those countries pharmaceutical companies that French and Germany will recoup money from in the of tax revenue.

teh French have held up a vaccine production line in order to make an expensive French developed vaccine that has now been found not to work.

I believe there’s mother French vaccine plant waiting for the other French vaccine plants that’s waiting to start production of another French vaccine hopefully in Quarter 4 of this year.

if the EU were that worried about its people it would be converting those plants over to make AstraZeneca vaccines instead of putting all their eggs into the Pfizer route. But when you loo T the purchase price and the fact that Pfizer vaccines will be made in bulk in France and Germany


https://order-order.com/2020/12/18/c...ne-costs-leak/

the EUs has talked of value for money. Spent less than four times per capita on vaccine research than the U.K. promised money to AstraZeneca after a 3 month delay and not stumped the cash up and appears to have gone down an EU purchase programme that massively benefits French and German business. It’s now threatening a pharmaceutical company that’s brought a at cost, easy to distribute in poorer parts of the world. That’s on top of the ‘we need to share vaccines equally, but we want 17% of the worlds supply straight away for 5% of the worlds population.
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