Before the first Covid-19 vaccines became available, countries scrambled to secure access to the shots, clamoring for supply deals. But as supply now far outstrips demand, governments in the European Union are pushing to renegotiate those deals.
Existing contracts would oblige them to buy vaccines that will just go to waste, they argue.
EU health ministers are meeting to discuss the issue, Reuters reported , citing comments French minister Brigitte Bourgignon made to reporters.
Most of these purchase agreements would involve Pfizer and BioNTech, which have already shipped more than a billion doses of their partnered mRNA vaccine worldwide.
Poland is the leading country in this attempt to revise contracts and reduce required orders, as it still has more than 30 million shots in stock and is on the hook to buy another 70 million under contractual agreements. The country has a population of about 38 million, about 60% of whom are fully vaccinated.
Pfizer said it’s made changes to delivery schedules to adapt. But it’s unclear what solution the ministers will be looking for — or how they plan to enforce it.