Poland’s well being minister, Adam Niedzielski, says his nation has efficiently spearheaded efforts by jap member states to influence the European Union to start renegotiating Covid vaccine contracts subsequent month.
Talking after a gathering of EU well being ministers this week, Niedzielski introduced that, “on account of a Polish initiative, renegotiation of vaccine contracts on the European stage will start in July”.
Na skutek polskiej inicjatywy od lipca rozpoczną się renegocjacje kontraktów szczepionkowych na poziomie europejskim! https://t.co/FA4geyF03b
— Adam Niedzielski (@a_niedzielski) June 14, 2022
Earlier this month, Niedzielski and his counterparts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania had urged the European Fee, in a letter seen by Reuters, to “cut back the quantities” of vaccines being ordered. Slovakia and Slovenia have additionally reportedly joined the Polish-led effort.
Niedzielski notes that, regardless of enhancements within the epidemic scenario in Poland and the EU, the vaccine contract obligations negotiated on the top of the pandemic stay unaltered and the scale of shipments continues to be substantial. “That’s why we prompt altering these contracts,” he mentioned.
Warsaw’s proposal is to unfold the present two-year supply scheme over 10 years and contain a newly established establishment – HERA, the European Fee’s Well being Preparedness and Response Authority – to take over buying of the vaccines.
Poland has pulled out of its contractual commitments to purchase Pfizer Covid vaccines, citing oversupply and monetary strains brought on by the inflow of Ukrainian refugees.
It acknowledges that its unilateral resolution will lead to a authorized battle with Pfizer https://t.co/Y97GFUqk4t
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) April 19, 2022
Niedzielski additionally pointed to incontrovertible fact that his nation is “presently shouldering the large prices of supporting refugees from Ukraine”, including that Poland desires the European Fee to reimburse these funds and that the €150 million supplied so removed from a lot of EU funds is “completely disproportionate”.
After this week’s assembly, EU well being commissioner Stella Kyriakides introduced that the fee “will proceed working with and on behalf of our member states to make sure vaccine provides, tailor-made to their wants, together with potential tailored vaccines”.
However she additionally emphasised that “the pandemic is just not over and we should be prepared for the approaching months”.
Whereas #COVID19 is now not on the forefront, the pandemic is just not over. We should be prepared for the approaching months.
We are going to proceed working with and on behalf of our Member States to make sure vaccine provides, tailor-made to their wants, together with potential tailored vaccines. #EPSCO pic.twitter.com/WOEzt9P3sN
— Stella Kyriakides (@SKyriakidesEU) June 14, 2022
Poland presently has 30 million Covid vaccine doses in inventory, experiences Reuters, citing a Polish diplomat. If deliveries had been to proceed on schedule, by April 2023 an additional 67 million might be shipped to Poland. Poland has used a complete of 55 million doses for the reason that nationwide vaccination programme started in December 2020.
“There isn’t a means we are able to nonetheless use tens of millions of Covid vaccine doses,” Włodzimierz Intestine, a virologist, informed Polish Radio, noting that there’s not a lot potential for vaccinating a big a part of Polish society. Intestine advisable encouraging Ukrainian refugees to get the jab, including that Ukraine has one of many highest vaccination hesitancy charges in Europe.
The most suitable choice is at hand the vaccine over to “poorer nations”, Intestine added. “Pouring them away is a waste and a expensive one… Additionally, it’s at all times higher to assist somebody than to throw all of it away.”
Fundamental picture credit score: Adam Guz/KPRM (beneath CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Agnieszka Wądołowska is deputy editor of Notes from Poland. She has beforehand labored for Gazeta.pl and Tokfm.pl and contributed to Gazeta Wyborcza, Wysokie Obcasy, Duży Format, Midrasz and Kultura Liberalna