Brussels secretive about vaccine procurement contracts

(Photo: Pxabay)

By: V4 Agency

“The EU intends to enforce the contracts signed by the pharmaceutical industry,” the European Council President said on Sunday, reacting to the delays announced by several manufacturers in the delivery of contracted coronavirus vaccines. V4NA has repeatedly contacted the European Commission regarding the issue, as we received no response to our request of information on the details of procurement contracts.

Not long ago, American Pfizer announced delays to be  expected in vaccine deliveries, saying it needs to upgrade its factory to increase production capacities. Citing manufacturing problems, British AstraZeneca said on Friday that it will not be able to ship the contracted doses in the first quarter of the year.

“The EU intends to enforce the contracts signed by the pharmaceutical industry,” European Council President Charles Michel said on Sunday.

“We can use all the legal means at our disposal for this,” the politician told the French Europe 1 radio.

Last week, V4NA turned to the European Commission President in a letter, requesting information regarding the details of the vaccine procurement contracts. The focus of our inquiry included when and who conducted the vaccine purchase negotiations,  as well as who signed the contracts with manufacturers on behalf of the EU, and how many doses were ordered.

Kikértük a vakcinabeszerzésrĹ‘l szóló szerzĹ‘déseket Brüs... V4NA asks Brussels for vaccine procurement contracts

There is growing criticism about the EU’s joint coronavirus vaccine procurement, a process coordinated by the European Commission….

Although the Commission did respond to our letter in general terms, they evaded giving specific answers to our questions. Publically accessible information on the European Commission’s website regarding the EU’s vaccine strategy also fails to provide specific answers regarding procurement.

Meanwhile, the European Ombudsman launched its own inquiry on Friday into the EC’s refusal to allow public access to the EU contracts of coronavirus vaccine procurement.

V4NA has now turned to the European Commission with additional questions on the contracts. We are requesting information regarding the basis on which the negotiations with individual manufacturers were started, and why the initial contracts with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were only concluded in November.

We also want the Commission to disclose the stipulations and clauses in the contracts applying to delay of and non-performance of contract by manufacturers.