The European Commission and AstraZeneca on Friday announced a deal to end a lawsuit on the delivery of Covid vaccines in a move that will allow the EU to speed up its vaccination drive.
Under the settlement, AstraZeneca has committed to deliver 60 million doses of its vaccine, Vaxzevria, by the end of the third quarter this year, 75 million by the end of the fourth quarter and 65 million by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
"Today's settlement agreement ensures the delivery of the remaining 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca to the EU,” said Stella Kyriakides, EU commissioner for health and food safety.
Despite being cheap and easily transportable, Vaxzevria has faced several setbacks including worries about blood clots risks and other possible side-effects.
In April the European Commission launched legal action over AstraZeneca’s failure to respect its contract for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines and for not having a "reliable" plan to ensure timely deliveries.
50 million jabs in France
Meanwhile France will soon pass the 50 million mark for first-time vaccinations, however the government says there are still gaps to be filled among "vulnerable" groups.
Almost 10 million people have chosen to avoid the jab, including 720,000 people over 75 who have been eligible for vaccination since January.
Health authorities are also focusing their efforts on teenagers, largely affected by the delta variant, and administering a third vaccine dose to older people.
While vaccinations in France are only available for children aged 12 and over, President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday suggested younger children may also become eligible.
Infection numbers are continuing to improve in France, with hospitalisations this week dropping by about a hundred people per day.