Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, a European Commission spokesman said that the EU had decided against taking up an option to buy 100 million more Covid-19 shots from AstraZeneca.
The commission’s contract with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company saw 300 million shots ordered with an option to buy a further 100 million. The spokesman said that this option had already expired, confirming previous reports, adding that there was no intention to purchase more jabs from the company.
The spokesman also said that there had been no decision as to whether Brussels would be commencing legal action against the drugs company who has previously stated it would not be making a profit from the sale of its Covid-19 vaccine during the pandemic.
Brussels said any decision on legal action would be made in agreement with the 27 nations in the bloc and concerns AstraZeneca’s failure to deliver contracted shots on time.
The EU has taken a tough line with AstraZeneca with one EU lawmaker likening the firm to an “unreliable second-hand car salesman.” The bloc’s regulator has also raised concerns about very rare cases of blood clots after the jab has been administered. These concerns have led to the jabs’ limited use and even an outright ban in Denmark.
The vaccine is widely used around the world, including in the UK, where around half the population have been inoculated.