EU reviews COVID-19 vaccine contract with BioNTech/Pfizer after drop in demand

EU reviews COVID-19 vaccine contract with BioNTech/Pfizer after drop in demand

Updated terms allow EU countries to buy fewer jabs, extend deliveries up to 4 years

By Agnes Szucs

BRUSSELS (AA) – The EU stroke on Friday a deal with pharma companies BioNTech/Pfizer on reviewing the terms of 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 2021, while another 450 million in 2023.

De Keersmaecker said he is “not in a position” to tell how many vaccines the EU will renounce as it is the EU member states' decision to review their orders.

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