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Boxes of AstraZeneca vaccines will be stored in the cold store in Oss, the Netherlands, on April 6th. Rob Engelaar / ANP / AFP / Getty Images

The European Commission will take further legal action against AstraZeneca on Tuesday for late delivery of its Covid-19 vaccines, an EU spokesman said in a statement on Monday.

Stefan De Keersmaecker, spokesman for the European Commission on Health, Food Safety and Transport, said: “The second complaint concerns the merits of the case: based on the provisions of the pre-sale agreement [APA]The Commission is asking the Court of Justice to determine whether AstraZeneca has breached the APA. ”

“Tomorrow the introductory hearing will take place. The court is expected to set deadlines for filing legal documents and hearings, ”he added.

On April 26, the EU announced that it was suing AstraZeneca for an alleged breach of its vaccine supply contract. This is a dramatic escalation of a month-long dispute over delivery delays that hampered the introduction of gunfire across the continent.

The 27 states of the European Union had ordered 300 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the British-Swedish drug manufacturer by the end of June, with the option to buy another 100 million. However, deliveries of the vaccine lagged behind repeatedly, sparking a bitter public dispute over the terms of the contract.

In his statement on Monday, De Keersmaecker said that the first case was an injunction, while the second was a lawsuit on the merits.

Regarding this first lawsuit, he said: “Given the urgent need for vaccine doses to continue vaccination in Member States, the Commission asked the court to require the company to provide a sufficient number of doses. The court will only tentatively assess the case and assess whether there is an emergency for dispensing cans. The hearing in this case will take place on May 26th. ”

He said the Commission’s aim was the same in both cases, namely “to take legal action to ensure the delivery of a sufficient number of doses to European citizens”.