NL willing to give Covid vaccines to EU countries behind in vaccination
The Netherlands and 18 other European Union countries are willing to give 30 percent of their share of 10 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccines that will be delivered earlier than expected, to the EU countries who are struggling with their vaccination campaign. For the Netherlands, this involves 116,700 vaccines it wants to lend to Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia, to show solidarity. The vaccines will be recouped at a later date, NU.nl reports.
Earlier this month, Pfizer announced that it could deliver 10 million of 100 million doses the EU ordered for the fourth quarter, in the second quarter already. The Netherlands is normally entitled to 3.89 percent of vaccine orders. In this case, 389 thousand doses of the early delivery of Pfizer vaccines. If the country donates 30 percent of that delivery, the Netherlands would get 272 thousand vaccines instead.
The Netherlands will get the 116,700 vaccines it donates now, extra when the other 90 million Pfizer doses are delivered.
That the Netherlands wants to donate some of its vaccines to help countries struggling to get their population vaccinated, is a bit strange seeing as the Netherlands is currently in 24th place of the 30 EU nations when it comes to proportion of the population vaccinated against the coronavirus. That puts the Netherlands only just ahead of the countries it wants to donate vaccines to.
The coronavirus vaccines purchased by the European Commission on behalf of the EU countries are fairly distributed by population size. But amount of specific types of vaccines the countries get may differ. Some countries have declined the expensive Pfizer vaccine, in favor of the cheaper AstraZeneca vaccine. But the supply of AstraZeneca vaccines has turned out to be very unreliable, with the pharmaceutical recently announcing that it could only deliver 40 percent of the promised doses to the EU in the second quarter.
The EU leaders therefore deployed their ambassadors and instructed them to agree on how the unexpected delivery of 10 million Pfizer vaccines should be distributed, bearing in mind that a number of countries were hit harder by the AstraZeneca disappointment.