AstraZeneca says EU loses legal bid for more vaccine supplies by end-June

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca on Friday said the European Union had lost a legal case against the pharmaceutical firm over the supply of COVID-19 vaccines as a court in Brussels rejected an EU request for more deliveries by the end of June.

The Anglo-Swedish firm committed in a contract to do its best to deliver to the 27-nation bloc 300 million doses by the end of June, but production problems led the pharmaceutical company to revise down its target to 100 million vaccines.

The cuts in the supplies delayed the EU’s vaccination drive in the first quarter of the year, when the bloc had initially bet on AstraZeneca to deliver the largest volume of jabs. That led to a bitter dispute and to the EU’s legal action to get at least 120 million doses by the end of June.

But the judge said the company should only deliver 80.2 million doses by a deadline of Sept. 27, AstraZeneca said. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Muvija M; writing by Alistair Smout; editing by David Evans)