Last year the British government invested a lot of money to produce covid-19 vaccines in the Netherlands. That says Astrazeneca top man Pascal Soriot in the European Parliament. The contracts signed at that time, AstraZeneca had to eventually take over.
Soriot thus confirms reports from DeccEit. The Dutch company at stake is Halix in Leiden. This company is considered to be part of the British production chain within AstraZeneca. Some of the vaccines produced there go to Britain.
The Astrazeneca vaccine was initially developed by the University of Oxford. The British government invested money in that. The Dutch company Halix was involved in the production of the vaccines during that period and also received a British subsidy.
Soriot: “When we took over the Oxford vaccine, we inherited a number of contracts. The British Government had invested in production in the UK, but also in our partner in the Netherlands.” Initially, the Leiden Halix would even be fully used to produce for the United Kingdom. That has not been the case anymore.
Most vaccines to EU
In a previous interview, Soriot already stated that vaccines manufactured in the UK production chain cannot be used simply to compensate for setbacks for the EU. So now he admits that the British production chain could also be on mainland Europe, in this case in the Netherlands.
Soriot does say that by far the majority of vaccines produced within the EU also go to the EU. “That also applies to the Dutch location.” He didnt mention numbers. In absolute numbers, it is also logical that the EU should receive more vaccines than the UK. There are many more Europeans than British and the EU also ordered more vaccines than the UK.
Never in good faith
The question now is whether AstraZeneca has violated the terms of the EU contract. The contract states that AstraZeneca has not signed any other contracts that prevent delivery to the EU. Apparently, those contracts were there anyway.
MEPs react critically to the statements made by Soriot. Esther de Lange from the CDA says it looks like “AstraZeneca has wanted to sell the skin twice. Thats not how it works.” Mohammed Chahim of the PvdA concludes that AstraZeneca “has never been in good faith”.