Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has indicated that it will continue supplying its COVID-19 vaccine to Italy as per the European Commission agreement even as the government considers suing the group’s CEO of the Italian unit. Rome is planning to sue the US pharmaceutical company for falling behind in deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Italy considering suing Pfizer for slow COVID-19 vaccine deliveries
Paivi Kerkola, Pfizer’s Italia CEO, said that they will continue supplying the vaccine as per the agreement with the European Commission. The European Commission signed agreements with Pfizer as well as other pharmaceutical companies on behalf of member states and the vaccine makers are supposed to deliver the vaccines to different EU countries. Pfizer and BioNTech acknowledged experiencing slow deliveries in the last two weeks but Kerkola has promised that they will return to normal levels this week.
Italy filed a complaint on Monday with the EU against the companies and AstraZeneca for delayed delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Italy has asked the commission to take action against the companies over vaccine delivery cuts. This comes after Rome sent a warning letter to Pfizer calling it to respect contractual commitments following the slowdown in deliveries experienced in recent weeks. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte indicated that they were planning to sue the drugmakers, but they haven’t filed a formal lawsuit.
Pfizer slowed vaccine deliveries in Europe to upgrade its Belgium factory
Currently, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine most widely used vaccine in Italy with Moderna’s vaccine also receiving approval while AstraZeneca’s is awaiting regulatory approval. Pfizer’s hand indicated that it will sallow supplies in Europe as it upgrades its factory in Belgium to boost the production of the shots.
According to Kerkola, the company is targeting 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021. Pfizer expects to increases its production volume from Mid-February. Regarding the difference in prices for the vaccine for different countries, Kerkola said that the prices were confidential but Pfizer employed a fair access principle whereby high-in countries will spend more while low-income countries spend less.