Baltic and Nordic countries urge Brussels to press BioNTech/Pfizer over vaccine

  • 2021-01-17
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania and other Baltic and Nordic countries called on the European Commission on Friday to demand an explanation from BioNTech and Pfizer over coronavirus vaccine delivery delays.

"We request you to urgently engage with BioNTech/Pfizer to demand a public explanation of the situation and to stress the need to ensure stability and transparency of timely deliveries," the six countries said in a letter seen by BNS.

"National governments cannot plan for successful vaccination without predictability of the vaccine delivery schedules," they said.

In the letter to the European commissioner for health, ministers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark and Sweden expressed "severe concern" that delivery delays may affect the sustainability and credibility of the vaccination process.

"We are writing to you with severe concern about the sustainability and credibility of the COVID-19 vaccination process, following the oral announcements of BioNTech/Pfizer representatives about their delivery difficulties," they said.

Officials in the six countries have been informed that vaccine deliveries "will be substantially reduced in the coming weeks", according to the letter.

"Some were given the deadline of February 8, 2021, some were given no information on the duration of the intended decreased deliveries", it said.

"We are obliged to inform our public and the particular risk groups (persons) that their vaccination will be delayed, regardless of the outstanding efforts by our governments to ensure their timely delivery," the ministers said.

"This situation is unacceptable. Not only does it impact the planned vaccination schedules, it also decreases the credibility of the vaccination process," they said.