Poland could count on EC support in dispute with Pfizer

The European Commission has hinted that Poland may count on its support in Warsaw's dispute with vaccine producer Pfizer, a government official has said.

Poland told the European Commission and the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer that it would refuse to accept and to pay for more Covid-19 vaccines, the Polish health minister said on Tuesday.

"To my knowledge, the European Commission has sent signals that we will be able to count on some support from the institution in our dispute with the producer," Michal Dworczyk, head of the Prime Minister's Office, told Polish Radio 24 on Wednesday.

Poland has stashed 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines and 67 million-70 million more have been ordered. However, the government is now phasing out its coronavirus restrictions and vaccination campaign amid falling infection numbers.

Dworczyk said the excessive inventory of vaccines was also a result of unfair practices by vaccine producers. "When it turned out that we have more vaccines than we need and tried to re-sell or pass the vaccines to countries that needed them, the producers hindered the process," Dworczyk said.

He also accused the firms of being driven by "profit maximisation".

European Commission spokesperson Stefan De Keersmaecker told a press conference on Tuesday that the EC had been informed by Poland about its decision not to take or pay for more doses of Covid-19 vaccines under the European Union's supply contract.

He said that member states were bound by contractual obligations, but the European Commission understood the difficult situation Poland was in and would try to facilitate talks between Polish authorities and the vaccine maker to find a practical solution.

Apart from Pfizer vaccines, Poland has also been using Moderna Covid-19 jabs as booster vaccines. 

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