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EU states step up pressure on Pfizer to cut unneeded COVID vaccine supplies

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BRUSSELS, June 14 (Reuters) – European Union governments are intensifying pressure on Pfizer (PFE.N) and other COVID-19 vaccine makers to renegotiate contracts, warning millions of shots that are no longer needed could go to waste, according to EU officials and a document.

During the most acute phase of the pandemic, the European Commission and EU governments agreed to buy huge volumes of vaccines, mostly from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech (22UAy.DE), amid fears of insufficient supplies.

But with the pandemic abating in Europe and amid a marked slowdown in vaccinations, many countries are now urging tweaks to contracts to reduce supplies and consequently cut their spending on vaccines.

The matter was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of EU health ministers in Luxembourg, although the Commission – the EU executive – remained cautious on what could be achieved.

Poland, the leading country in this attempt to revise contracts, has more than 30 million COVID vaccines in stock and would need to buy another 70 million under existing agreements, a Polish diplomat told Reuters, urging changes to avoid waste.

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