Italy is contemplating legal action against Pfizer Inc after the U.S. drugmaker stated a further cut in coronavirus vaccine deliveries, the country’s COVID-19 special commissioner Domenico Arcuri said.
Pfizer is facing blame across Europe over its sudden move to temporarily delay vaccine shipments to countries that fear disturbances could throw their vaccination campaigns into confusion. The company informed Italy last week that it was decreasing its deliveries by 29%. On Tuesday, it said it was not in the position to make up the 29% shortfall next week and that it was intending a further “slight reduction” in deliveries.
The Pfizer vaccine needs two injections, given around 21 days apart, to prepare the immune system well enough to fight off the coronavirus. Pfizer’s move was having a serious influence on vaccination plans formed up by local authorities. Due to the reduction in doses, many regions have been forced to slow down or even halt new vaccinations to make sure administration of the second dose to those who had already received the first
Pfizer declined to comment over Italy’s legal threat and criticism regarding delivery delays beyond its statement on Friday about supply cuts.