Six Baltic and Nordic health ministers are urging Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides to demand that Pfizer explain why its coronavirus vaccine deliveries will be “substantially reduced in the coming weeks.”
Some countries were told their deliveries would be reduced until February 8, while other countries were not told how long their deliveries would be reduced for, according to a letter from the six ministers to the commissioner, obtained on Friday by POLITICO.
The delivery issues mean people will have their vaccinations delayed “regardless of the outstanding efforts by our Governments to ensure their timely delivery,” they said.
While all six ministers stressed that they support the EU’s joint vaccination strategy, saying it brought “optimism in the entire European Union,” they called the delays “unacceptable.”
“Not only does [the holdup] impact the planned vaccination schedules, it also decreases the credibility of the vaccination process,” they said.
The six ministers — from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark and Sweden — are now calling on the health commissioner to demand Pfizer publicly explain the delays and “stress the need to ensure stability and transparency of timely deliveries.”
The health commissioner is scheduled to meet with Pfizer this afternoon, according to a senior EU diplomat.
“We all deserve maximum transparency, proper planning and clear explanations and we do hope that Pfizer understands that the trust in vaccination and science is at stake too,” the diplomat said.
The Commission has the “full mandate” to talk with “power on behalf of almost 450 million Europeans and shall demand much better coordination and much more transparency of the vaccination process,” the diplomat added.
The Commission did not immediately confirm the meeting.
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6 EU countries blast delays to BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine deliveries The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Politico.