PM appeals to EU, EC for full info on vaccine supply cuts

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has asked the European Commission to find out what plans vaccine producer BionTech/Pfizer has following cuts to its vaccine production.

The government has said the cuts could undermine its ability to stick to the schedule laid out in its national vaccination programme.

In a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission’s president, and European Council head Charles Michel, Morawiecki said Poland appreciated the EU's steps to provide its members with a Covid vaccine, but observed that its effectiveness depended on sufficient supplies.

"We expected supplies of 6 million doses of the BionTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccine by the end of the first quarter of this year,” he wrote. “However, the Pfizer company has announced a temporary reduction of vaccine supplies owing to planned upgrades to its production lines. This will considerably influence our national vaccination programme, as it will have to be re-adjusted to the diminished accessibility of (the vaccines - PAP) in the coming weeks. We therefore call upon the Commission to urgently demand all information from BionTech/Pfizer on its plans, and how they could affect accessibility to the vaccine."

In his letter, Morawiecki also referred to media rumours about separate vaccine supply deals sealed by some EU states, and observed that this "gives rise to justified questions regarding European cooperation, loyalty and solidarity." He added that it is imperative for the EU to ensure "coordinated, just and efficient" vaccine supplies to its citizens.

Morawiecki also criticised the recent introduction of mandatory Covid testing and quarantining for hauliers, and warned that this could impede the free flow of goods within the EU.

He also appealed to the Commission for it to ensure Eastern Partnership countries have access to Covid vaccines.