RIGA - Latvia and nine other European Union (EU) member states have sent the European Commission a formal petition calling for amendments to the advance purchase agreements (APA) made with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers that would allow member states to receive vaccines according to their needs, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sintija Gulbe informed LETA.
Through APAs with individual vaccine producers, the European Commission secured the right to buy a specified number of vaccine doses in a given timeframe and at a given price. However, with the share of vaccinated population growing and the pandemic gradually subsiding, the ordered vaccine quantities are now exceeding the member states' needs.
The current APAs does not provide for the option to forgo the purchase of the preordered vaccines without financial consequences for the member states. If the countries refuse to buy the jabs, they are still required to pay for them. The postponement of vaccine purchases also requires amending the agreements.
For the member states, the agreements now cause an "excessive burden on state budgets, combined with the delivery of unnecessary amounts of vaccines and short remaining shelf life of the vaccines".
“Revision of the provisions of the contracts for the purchase of vaccines is essential – the absence of action will result in Europe’s financial mismanagement and EU citizens’ mistrust,” the letter to the European Commission reads.
Apart from Latvia, the other signatories of the letter include Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.