Italy will take legal action against Pfizer and AstraZeneca and step up pressure in Brussels over delay in the delivery of Covid 19 vaccines, with the intent to secure the promised supplies.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that the goal was to meet the demand for vaccine volumes that were promised and not to seek any compensation.
“This is a European contract that Pfizer and AstraZeneca are not respecting and so, for this reason, we will take legal action… We are working so our vaccine plan program does not change,” he said.
Pfizer said that they have temporarily slowed down the vaccine supply to the European countries to make changes in the manufacturing which would boost the output; AstraZeneca also said that initially there would be a shortage in deliveries due to the manufacturing problem.
When asked about why the companies were forced to announce reductions, Luigi Di Maio said he believes the reason for this is they had simply bitten off more than they could chew. He also commented that they would be activating all channels of communication so that the European Commission will ensure that the contracts are respected by Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Neither of the companies has yet responded to this comment.
Charles Michel, the President of the European Council said they would use legal means at their disposal to ensure that the contracts signed are respected by the pharma companies.
Sky Italia cited Pfizer saying the supplies would regularize by next week and the cuts in the number of doses delivered were due to the ongoing work to increase the production capacity at the Belgian plant.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that they would use all the available legal tools against these companies for their “unacceptable” delay in supplies leading to a serious breach of contractual obligations. Italy’s Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri expressed disappointment saying Pfizer and AstraZeneca had put back the vaccination for over 80-s in Italy by about 4 weeks and by about 6-8 weeks for the rest of the population.
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