Over 1 million Covid vaccines will be delivered late: Report
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge was overly optimistic with the Covid-19 vaccines delivery time-frame he sent to parliament on Monday. In that letter he said that around 8 million vaccines are expected to be delivered in the first three months of this year. But at least 1.1 million of these will not make that deadline, NOS reports after surveying the pharmaceutical companies involved. That means that 550 thousand Dutch will be vaccinated later than planned.
German company CureVac told NOS that its vaccine won't be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before April. Which means that the 600 thousand vaccines the Netherlands planned to get from that company in the first quarter will definitely not be delivered by March. It is not yet known how soon after approval CureVac can start delivering vaccines, because that schedule hasn't been made yet, a spokesperson said to the broadcaster.
In addition to the 600 thousand CureVac vaccines De Jonge expected by March, the Ministry of Public Health also expects another delivery of 1.6 million vaccines from the company in the second quarter. Whether this delivery will be made in time is also not clear.
The 100 million extra Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines the European Union ordered at the end of December will also not arrive before April. De Jonge told parliament that 500 thousand of these vaccines would be in the Netherlands in March. Pfizer told NOS it would be April at the earliest. A spokesperson for the European Commission said July.
De Jonge did say in his letter to parliament that "changes to the deliver schedule are possible at the last minute". But according to NOS, the setbacks surrounding the deliveries of the CureVac and Pfizer vaccines were already known when the Minister wrote his letter.