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AstraZeneca Settles With EU Over COVID-19 Delivery Dispute

In a settlement with the EU, AstraZeneca will deliver 200 million doses of its Vaxzervia COVID-19 vaccine over the next three quarters.
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Shares of AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report fell Friday after the drugmaker reached a settlement with European Union regulators on the delivery of 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

The Cambridge, U.K., drugmaker has committed to deliver 60 million doses of its Vaxzervia vaccine by the end of the third quarter, another 75 million doses by the end of the fourth quarter, and another 65 million doses by the end of the first quarter. 

The settlement comes after the European Commission launched legal action against the company in April, saying it did not have a workable plan to ensure timely deliveries of the vaccines to the 27-country bloc, Reuters reported. 

Under the new agreement, member states will be provided with regular delivery schedules, and if there are any delays, capped rebates will be applied. 

The new schedule honors a 300 million dose bulk purchasing contract that the company made with the EU about a year ago. 

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EU countries with low vaccination rates will be prioritized under the agreement. 

"There are significant differences in vaccination rates between our member states, and the continued availability of vaccines, including AstraZeneca's, remain crucial," EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said, according to Reuters.

Earlier this year, the European Medicines Agency said AstraZeneca's vaccine was probably causing deadly blood clots in a small number of vaccinated people. 

The agency said people should still get vaccinated for the coronavirus, but doctors must pay attention to the problem.

“Our conclusion is that these clotting disorders are very rare side effects of the vaccine," said Sabine Straus, chair of the EMA's assessment committee, The Washington Post reported. 

AstraZeneca shares at last check were 1.2% lower at $58.87.