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March 4, 2024
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Pfizer Sues Romania for Refusal to Purchase Agreed Quantity of Anti-Covid-19 Vaccines

Pfizer and BioNTech have taken the difficult decision to initiate official proceedings against Romania to make it respect its commitments for the orders of vaccines for COVID-19 placed by the Government as part of the supply contract of the European Union, signed in May 2021, states Andrew Widger, Pfizer’s senior director of Global Media Relations, in an answer sent to Romanian news platform News.ro.

The Romanian Health Minister Alexandru Rafila states that Pfizer’s notice of summons before the court in Brussels for the anti-COVID vaccines was received by mail and that it is a situation that is not unexpected, considering that the same thing happened in the case of two other EU states, Poland and Hungary. The minister stated that enormous amounts of anti-COVID vaccine were contracted that Romania was not using, a situation that could not be accepted and was not even moral in this context, specifying that Romania should have ordered and received 28 million vaccine doses from Pfizer. According to Rafila, the government will look for a law firm, and Romania will try to coordinate with Poland from the point of view of the arguments against this contract. In this sense, they have already met with the Polish ambassador, News.ro reports.

Following a prolonged breach of contractual commitments and a period of good faith discussions between the parties, Pfizer and BioNTech have taken the difficult decision to initiate formal proceedings against Romania.
Pfizer and BioNTech aim to get Romania to meet its commitments for the orders of vaccines for COVID-19 placed by the Government of Romania as part of the European Union supply contract signed in May 2021.
Pfizer and BioNTech believe it is important that all parties honor their contractual obligations under the agreement that facilitated Europe’s successful response to the pandemic.
Pfizer and BioNTech continue to support this response and remain committed to providing vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with their contractual agreements and the interest of public health.

Pfizer official answer to News.ro

The Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, stated on December 6, about the anti-COVID vaccines, that the contractual obligations assumed by Romania in the first half of 2021 still produce effects, and he hopes that a negotiated solution will be reached with their producers. He added that there is no point in ordering vaccines that will not be used. In October 2023, he stated that there is a chance to agree with one of the manufacturers of anti-Covid vaccines to end the contract amicably. However, the contract with Pfizer is still looking for solutions because Romania should buy another 27 million doses.

The purchase of vaccines during the pandemic is the subject of the Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors’ investigation; the former Prime Minister Florin Cîţu, the former Ministers of Health Vlad Voiculescu and Ioana Mihăilă and the former Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health Andrei Baciu being prosecuted for abuse of office with dire consequences.

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