An open letter seen by POLITICO cites an oversupply of coronavirus vaccine doses and the need to protect public budgets.
The letter aims to dissolve contracts “if they’re no longer needed from a health and epidemiological perspective.” Minimizing dosages ordered should better match overall shot need.
Stella Kyriakides has been emailed. Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia signed a letter supporting Poland’s efforts.
EU countries in eastern Europe had already expressed concern that coronavirus vaccination contracts made at the height of the pandemic had bound them to purchasing too many doses of the vaccine. The number of coronavirus vaccinations secured by the Commission is 10 times the EU’s population. February saw 1.3 billion shipping.
This pandemic appears to be abating, and vaccination rates across the EU are adequate, but contracts with vaccine producers ask for significantly more vaccine than member states can consume.
Countries that signed the letter said donated vaccines may go unused and waste public money because “public resources cannot be properly justified to the public.”
Eastern European countries say the Commission’s efforts to alter contracts to stagger deliveries aren’t enough. Countries who signed vaccine contracts want them renegotiated.
The letter also highlights a Baltic issue and requests a minimum vaccine shelf-life.
Specific requests include ensuring vaccines can defend against the latest circulating strains and allowing the EU’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority to buy unused vaccines to develop a shared stockpile and donate to other countries more effectively.