Tensions have also arisen between the EU and AstraZeneca, as the company failed to deliver the 120 million doses expected to arrive in European countries by the end of March, which it blamed on production delays in Belgium and the Netherlands. The EU has accused AstraZeneca, which is part British, of giving the UK preferential treatment. According to Politico, AstraZeneca's contract with the UK contains "punishment clauses" if there are delays, but the EU waived its right to sue the company if this happened. AstraZeneca has underlined that the UK is not receiving vaccines from EU production sites apart from a "tiny" batch from its Leiden plant in the Netherlands.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is currently approved for use in more than 100 countries and its production is reliant on supply chains across 15 different countries. This vaccine was an early member of the COVAX initiative to ensure that low- and middle-income countries are also vaccinated, which will receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at a maximum cost of $3 (£2.15) per dose. More generally, AstraZeneca promised not to profit from its new drug “during the pandemic”, however the company has the right to declare that the pandemic is at an end as early as July 2021, according to reports by the Financial Times, and profit thereafter. Analysts at investment bank SVB Leerink are forecasting sales of $1.9 billion (£1.4bn) in 2021, increasing to $3 billion (£2.2bn) in 2022.
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