VILNIUS - The Baltic prime minister have turned to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over the emerging surplus of Covid-19 vaccines and their short shelf-life, proposing amending the existing contracts with vaccine producers.
"We note with concern that the member states are facing a new challenge, which is over-production and over-supply of vaccines. The vaccine deliveries to the Baltic states and other member states continue despite insufficient vaccine administration. This puts pressure not only on logistics networks and storage but also has budgetary implications," the letter reads.
In their letter, the prime ministers informed the EC president that the situation is getting further complicated as the countries have been receiving deliveries of vaccines with shorter and shorter shelf-life. In some cases, the vaccines received have already reached half of their shelf-life.
It is also stated that member states need "to jointly find solutions that would allow us to avoid huge wastage of vaccines and financial losses for national budgets".
The Baltic states are proposing that the Commission enters negotiations with the vaccine manufacturers with the aim to amend or supplement the Advanced Purchase Agreements for the benefit of the member states.
The prime ministers also suggest ensuring that vaccine deliveries are spread over an extended period, with the possibility to order vaccines according to the actual national needs, thus also ensuring that adapted vaccines are delivered to the member states once available.
Also, member states should be granted the rights to rephase, suspend or cancel altogether vaccine deliveries with short shelf-life, taking into account the demand for these vaccines at the national level, the Baltic prime ministers propose.
Moreover, they suggest introducing a mechanism that would allow the HERA authority to re-purchase member states’ vaccines from the manufacturers’ storage to cover unmet global needs.
The Commission is also being asked to take a more active role in coordinating member states' vaccine donation efforts.