Poland says it will not take or pay for more COVID-19 vaccines for now
Poland says it will not take or pay for more COVID-19 vaccines for now

Poland says it will not take or pay for more COVID-19 vaccines for now

Syringes have been prepared for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at the University Hospital of Bialystok, Poland January 4, 2021. Agnieszka Sadowska / Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

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WARSAW, April 19 (Reuters) – Poland will not take or pay for more doses of COVID-19 vaccine under the EU supply contract, its health minister said on Tuesday, setting the stage for a legal battle with manufacturers.

Poland, along with other EU members, has received COVID-19 vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic under supply contracts agreed between the European Commission and vaccine manufacturers such as BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) and Pfizer (PFE.N) or Modern (MRNA.O).

Poland’s largest supplier is Pfizer. However, the country has experienced lower vaccine intake than most of the EU and has surplus vaccine stocks, some of which have already been sold or donated to other countries. Read more

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“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,” said Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. private broadcaster TVN24.

“In fact, the consequence of this will be a legal conflict that is already taking place,” he said.

Poland can not directly terminate the contract for the supply of vaccines, as the parties to the contracts are the European Commission and the manufacturers, he said.

The value of the contract for vaccine deliveries to Poland until the end of 2023 with one manufacturer alone was worth more than 6 billion zlotys ($ 1.40 billion), with over 2 billion zlotys of it for delivery in 2022.

In Poland, 59% of the population has been vaccinated with two doses, and 31% have received a booster shot. This is well below the EU average of 72.5% and almost 53% respectively.

($ 1 = $ 4.2868)

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Reporting by Alan Charlish and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our standards: Thomson Reuters trust principles.

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