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EU officials say AstraZeneca CANCELLED meeting on vaccine supplies, pharma giant denies claim as simmering row boils over

EU officials say AstraZeneca CANCELLED meeting on vaccine supplies, pharma giant denies claim as simmering row boils over
Relations between the EU and AstraZeneca were dealt another blow on Wednesday as the union and the pharmaceutical company offered opposing stances on whether the firm had canceled a meeting to discuss Covid-19 vaccine supplies.

The strained relationship between the bloc and the British-Swedish firm took another hit after a European Union official leaked news that the company had pulled out of the meeting, which was set to discuss AstraZeneca’s announcement to cut vaccine deliveries to the EU by 40 percent in the first quarter of the year. 

Austria's Health Minister Rudolf Anschober told reporters that the company had postponed negotiations until Thursday. However, the drugmaker disputed the claim, releasing a statement confirming that it will meet EU officials on Wednesday as planned.

Also on rt.com English health chief says any restrictions on EU vaccine exports 'a worry' as Germany backs limiting jab shipments from bloc

The European Commission described the delivery delays as “not acceptable,” with some EU member states threatening legal action.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Tuesday that the company’s contract with the EU was based on a best-effort clause and did not commit it to a specific timetable for deliveries. 

Soriot’s comments prompted the union to ask AstraZeneca to publish the contract it signed with the bloc as an official claimed the chief executive had revealed confidential clauses.

The union’s beleaguered vaccine rollouts have been beset with delays leaving it falling behind other regions, especially the United Kingdom which recently exited the bloc.

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