EU reviews Covid-19 vax deal as demand dropped

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

BRUSSELS – The European Union struck on Friday a deal with pharma companies BioNTech/Pfizer on reviewing the terms of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine deliveries after the demand for jabs significantly dropped.

The European Commission announced in a statement that it had reached an agreement with BioNTech-Pfizer “to better address Member States’ assessment of evolving needs for Covid-19 vaccines.”

The update allows EU countries to buy fewer vaccine doses than originally contracted within a time frame extended to four years after paying a fee to the pharma companies.

Speaking to reporters, Stefan de Keersmaecker, the European Commission’s spokesperson for health affairs, acknowledged that the contract had to be modified because there was a “mismatch between supply and demand from certain member countries.”

The deal amends the third joint purchase agreement between the bloc and BioNTech/Pfizer, which was signed in 2021 about buying 900 million Covid-19 vaccine doses with an option for another 900 million.

Under the original contract, 450 million jabs were scheduled to be delivered in 2021 and 2022, while another 450 million in 2023.

De Keersmaecker said he is “not in a position” to tell how many vaccines the EU would renounce as the EU member states decide to review their orders. (Anadolu)