The EU ultimatum on AstraZeneca has expired, Russia reassures about its anti-coronavirus vaccine
The letter from Brussels on 19 March in which the European Commission asked the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca to respect its contractual commitments with Europe within 20 days, has not yet been answered. The deadline expired on 8 April. Repubblica had already given an account of the letter, on 19 March, in an interview with Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the EU Commission. The content – seven pages in English signed by the EU’s chief negotiator on Covid vaccines, Sandra Gallina – was published two days ago by the French newspaper Les Echos.
The text lists a long list of elements that led the EU executive “to the conclusion that AstraZeneca has not respected, and continues not to respect, its contractual obligations of production and delivery” of the initial 300 million doses for the EU. “We formally ask you and give you notice to remedy the substantial contractual violations within twenty days of this letter – continues the text -. We give you notice to recover without further delay on the backlog in the production and delivery of the doses and to mitigate any damage caused. “.
“We underline – the message continues – that the substantial violation of the purchase agreement by your company can lead to dramatic consequences for the life, health, and freedom of millions of European citizens in the Covid-19 crisis“.
Meanwhile, Russia has reassured Bruxelles that its Sputnik V vaccine has not caused a single death, following several reports on potential side-effects. “We are constantly monitoring the safety of vaccines against coronavirus,” Alla Saimolova, the head of Russia’s healthcare surveillance agency, Roszdravnadzor, clarified last weekend.
“Since the beginning of use, we have not recorded a single case of death resulting from the use of Russian vaccines against coronavirus, and the frequency of adverse reactions does not exceed the rate of 0.1 percent,” she told EU observer. Roszdravnadzor spoke out, in an unusual move for the Russian institution, following the news, on Friday (9 April), that four people died and six others felt unwell after taking Russia’s anti-coronavirus vaccine in recent months. None of the 10 case files from RosPotrebNadzor, a Russian agency responsible for administering vaccines, said there was a causal link between Sputnik V and the ensuing health complications.
Saimolova stressed that Russia carefully investigates each case of a possible severe adverse reaction in persons vaccinated against Covid-19. “In a number of cases, which were reported by the media, there was a coronavirus infection in the period that preceded the formation of stable immunity to coronavirus.”