Belgium knew about risks in EU contract with AstraZeneca

The European Union could have known that it was difficult to keep the vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca to its commitments. The Belgian government had been warned that the proposed contract gave little to the EU to enforce timely delivery of the coronavaccines, but felt that it was already too late to pass on that warning. According to news platform Politico and opinion magazine Knack, this is stated in documents they requested.


the outset, AstraZeneca supplies the EU far fewer vaccines than was agreed. The EU, in consultation with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical, tried to change this in vain and is now going to court in Brussels. The contract is governed by Belgian law.

With the rise of the quarrel with AstraZeneca, the question arose whether Brussels had signed a contract that had not been completely boarded up. For example, the British, who initially received their Astrazeneca vaccines on time, seemed to have made tougher agreements. In new contracts, unlike AstraZeneca, the EU now sets out how many doses manufacturers must supply each month.

The contract with AstraZeneca did not provide any certainty, the consultant asked for advice by the Belgian Government. In addition, Belgium would have to make additional agreements, advised Deloitte on 17 August, ten days before the contract was signed.

โ€œ We assume there are good reasons to expect that the planned delivery schedule will be delivered,โ€ wrote Deloitte. โ€œBut the contract does not provide for sanctions if delivery dates and quantities are not respected.โ€ The consultant also warned against AstraZenecas priority arrangements with other customers, such as the United Kingdom.