The European Commission, on behalf of the EU member states, reached an agreement with the pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer on the reduction of supplies of the vaccine against covid-19.
The agreement stipulates a reduction in the number of doses purchased by member states in accordance with the basic agreement between the Union and pharmaceutical companies from May 2021. Upon payment of the compensation, the originally agreed number of doses will be converted into optional orders, the commission explains. By how much they reduced the amount of doses, they did not want to reveal in Brussels.
However, they reminded that the commission is with the two companies in May 2021 BioNTech and Pfizer signed an agreement under which the EU committed to purchase an initial quantity of 900 million doses with an option to purchase an additional 900 million doses. Of the initial quantity, 450 million doses were scheduled to be delivered in 2021 and 2022, and 450 million in 2023.
The EU and the supplier also agreed on an extension of the period during which the members will be able to accept the delivery of the vaccine. This will be possible in the next four years.
In addition, the agreement gives members continued access to additional doses within the originally agreed quantity until the contract expires, and they will also have access to vaccines adapted to new variants of the coronavirus.
“Vaccines and vaccinations have largely helped us to control the pandemic. Although covid-19 is no longer considered a global health emergency, but it still represents a threat that will probably accompany us in the future. Therefore, it is essential that we remain ready in the coming years as well,” said the European Commissioner for Health, Stela, upon concluding the agreement Kyriakideswho will visit Slovenia at the end of next week.
Slovenia is one of about ten EU member states that have for a long time pointed out the problem of surplus vaccines against covid-19 and urged the commission to amend the supply contracts.
The EU had previously concluded two annexes to the contract with the two suppliers, with which they changed the schedule of vaccine deliveries and established joint warehouses.