A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, coronavirus vaccine is pictured ahead of starting inoculations at Mariebergsgarden care home in Nykoping, Sodermanland County, Sweden. (AFP)
A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, coronavirus vaccine is pictured ahead of starting inoculations at Mariebergsgarden care home in Nykoping, Sodermanland County, Sweden. (AFP)

Six EU nations express 'severe concern' over vaccine delays

  • Ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden said in their letter that the situation was "unacceptable" and "decreases the credibility of the vaccination process".
AFP, Vilnius, Lithuania
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:06 PM IST

Six European Union countries signed a letter to the European Commission on Friday to express "severe concern" over delivery delays for the coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.

Ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden said in their letter that the situation was "unacceptable" and "decreases the credibility of the vaccination process".

"We are obliged to inform our public and the particular risk groups... that their vaccination will be delayed, regardless of the outstanding efforts by our governments to ensure timely delivery," the letter said.

"We request you to urgently engage with BioNTech/Pfizer to demand a public explanation of the situation and to stress the need to ensure stability and transparency of timely deliveries."

It said officials in the six countries had been informed by BioNTech/Pfizer that deliveries would be "substantially reduced in the coming weeks".

"Some were given the deadline of February 8, 2021, some were given no information on the duration of the intended decreased deliveries," it added.

Lithuania earlier on Friday said that deliveries of the vaccine would be cut to 54,505 doses from the originally planned 108,810 doses over the next four weeks -- a reduction of nearly 50 percent.

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