Poland refuses to pay for more vaccine doses, triggering legal battle; Pfizer, Moderna faces more investor pressure to open up mRNA technology – Endpoints News
Poland refuses to pay for more vaccine doses, triggering legal battle;  Pfizer, Moderna faces more investor pressure to open up mRNA technology – Endpoints News

Poland refuses to pay for more vaccine doses, triggering legal battle; Pfizer, Moderna faces more investor pressure to open up mRNA technology – Endpoints News

Poland says it will not pay for more Covid-19 vaccine doses under the EU supply contract, which could potentially establish a legal battle with vaccine manufacturers.

“At the end of last week, we used the force majeure clause and informed both the European Commission and the main vaccine manufacturer that we are refusing to take these vaccines at the moment and we are also refusing to pay,” Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told the Private TV company TVN24, pr Reuters. “In fact, the consequence of this will be a legal conflict that is already taking place.”

According to Reuters, “the value of the contract for vaccine deliveries to Poland until the end of 2023 with one manufacturer alone was worth more than PLN 6 billion ($ 1.4 billion).” One third of this was for doses to be delivered in 2022.

Under supply agreements negotiated by the EU, Poland has received Covid-19 shots from companies such as Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna.

However, as a relatively low vaccine intake has been seen – only 59% of the population has received two shots, compared to the EU average of 72.5% – the country has landed vaccine surpluses. It has sold or donated some of the excess doses.

Pfizer, Moderna is facing more investor pressure to consider transferring mRNA technology

As the World Trade Organization reportedly closes in on a waiver of intellectual property for Covid-19 vaccines, two of the largest vaccine manufacturers are also facing internal pressure to open up access.

Two major proxy advisers are urging Moderna and Pfizer’s shareholders to vote in favor of decisions that will force them to order third-party reports on the transfer of their mRNA vaccine technology. Financial Times reported.

Institutional Shareholder Services recommended that both Pfizer and Moderna investors vote in favor of Oxfam’s proposals, saying they were “lacking” in terms of transparency around production events around the world. Glass Lewis, on the other hand, supported the proposal at Moderna, but joined the Pfizer board by suggesting that the company’s own revelations may be more insightful than a third-party report.

Early in the campaign to vaccinate the world against Covid-19, as unequal distribution led to an abundance of shots in rich nations but left poor countries, the WTO and some developing countries pushed for an IP exemption so local producers could be able to to make the vaccines yourself without having to secure a license from Moderna, Pfizer or BioNTech.

Unlike the initiative from the beginning, biopharma has argued that such a waiver would not only weaken patent protection and reduce future incentives for R&D, it would not even increase vaccine production because production requires a sophisticated supply chain and technical knowledge. -how.

Despite the opposition – and changing views from governments – the United States, the EU, India and South Africa last month reached a preliminary agreement on what proponents called a watered-down exemption, which would be limited to patents and would not cover trade secrets.

Moderna noted to FT that it has maximized its production capacity and provided “real supply” through a mix of in-house and contract work – and the biggest obstacle is the distribution of the vaccines.

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