Slovakia will receive additional Pfizer vaccines

Meanwhile, the health minister commented on reported attempts to purchase vaccines outside the official EU system.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: AP/SITA)

European Union countries will receive 50 million more coronavirus vaccines produced by Pfizer and BioNTech in the second quarter of the year. Originally, the deliveries expected at the end of the year will be brought forward, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on April 14.

“I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with BioNTech-Pfizer to once again speed up the delivery of vaccines,” she said, as quoted by the Reuters newswire.

Slovakia is entitled to 1.22 percent of the batch, which represents about 610,000 doses.

The EC launched talks with Pfizer and BioNTech for a new contract for 1.8 billion doses to be delivered in 2022 and 2023, Reuters reported.

Purchases from unverified firms discussed

Slovakia has been mentioned in another topic related to vaccine purchases. The German broadcaster ZDF reported that Slovakia is the only EU country that is trying, along with Libya and Barbados, to receive additional vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca through intermediaries. Such purchases are usually more expensive than those agreed through the EU, the broadcaster pointed out.

Slovak Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) commented that he expects the country to not buy the Covid vaccines from unverified companies.

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Although he admitted that he is not aware of all details, he said that the ministry has received offers to purchase vaccines from various companies. The offer was discussed by his predecessor, Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO), Lengvarský said, stressing that it was only a discussion, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Health Ministry spokesperson Zuzana Eliášová told ZDF that no agreement had been signed, and that Slovakia is firstly trying to manage the purchase of the vaccines via the centralised system administered by the EC.

Neither Pfizer nor AstraZeneca are aware of such offers or orders, TASR reported.

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