Italy threatens to sue Pfizer over delayed vaccine supply
Italy threatens to sue Pfize...
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Italy threatens to sue Pfizer over delayed vaccine supply

20 January 2021
2 min.
Italy threatens to sue Pfizer over delayed vaccine supply

Delay in supply

The US company has notified Italy of a 29% temporary reduction in the supply of the drug, with the authorities believing it would have a negative impact on the vaccination campaign. Pfizer explained that the delays were due to a production reorganization.

Italy is considering taking legal action against the US company Pfizer over delays in delivering a vaccine against coronavirus infection, which the latter has developed together with German BioNTech. This was announced by Minister for Regional Affairs Francesco Boccia.

He said: "We demand clarity and respect for our country! Even if we are the first in Europe to use the vaccine, we need clarity about the weekly distribution. There should be no unilateral cuts without prior notice".

Last week Pfizer notified the Italian authorities that it would cut its vaccine supply to the country by 29% from 18 January, according to the Italian Emergency Commissioner for COVID-19, Domenico Arcuri. He said Rome was looking into the possibility of taking punitive measures against the company.

Other EU countries have also complained about the delays. On 15 January Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia sent a letter to the European Commission in which they expressed concern over Pfizer's plans to cut deliveries and pointed out that the situation affected the planned vaccination schedules.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said that the delay is due to a reorganisation of production. Pfizer has also previously reported this. The American company has promised to return to the original delivery schedule on 25 January and to increase the volume from mid-February.

Mass vaccination in the EU began on 27 December. The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has become the first product to be approved by the European regulator. The vaccine is being produced at Pfizer plants in Belgium for the first phase of the European vaccination campaign. On 6 January, the EU granted conditional approval for the coronavirus vaccine developed by US company Moderna. This means that the company will continue to provide test results for two years.

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