ER Editor: See also this piece by Reuters, Poland declines to take or pay for more COVID-19 vaccines for now, which does not mention the immense strain on the public purse because of the influx of Ukrainian refugees, around 3 million according to Politico, or 3.8 million according to a 3-week old article from EUobserver (geography reminder that Poland and western Ukraine share a border). Of note:
Poland’s biggest supplier is Pfizer. However, the country has seen lower vaccine uptake than most of the European Union and has surplus vaccine stock, part of which it has sold or donated to other countries.
“Indeed, the consequence of this will be a legal conflict, which is already taking place,” he said.
Poland cannot directly terminate the contract for the supply of vaccines as the parties to the contracts are the European Commission and manufacturers, he said.
Poland was due to pay $1.4 billion to the end of 2023 to just ONE vaccine supplier, presumably Pfizer.
It seems that Poland is caught financially between two very costly EU pet projects: massive immigration at any cost and vaccine mandates where each person is expected to have multiple injections. While Poland continues to get financially punished by the EU for having the audacity, historically, to choose its own judges, what’s called the ‘rule of law’ issue. How long are such countries expected to go along with this? Kudos to Poland for putting its foot down over the vaccine contracts.
Poland reneges on coronavirus vaccine contracts
Poland has unilaterally pulled out of its contractual commitments to buy the BioNTech / Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said Tuesday, citing oversupply and financial strains caused by the influx of millions of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Speaking on all-news channel TVN24, Niedzielski said that the government in Warsaw had informed the European Commission and the vaccine suppliers late last week that it was invoking a force majeure clause in the procurement contract and would refuse both to pay for, or take delivery of, further doses.
Niedzielski explained that the improving pandemic situation meant that there was less need for vaccines. The Ukrainian refugee crisis, meanwhile, had stretched the public finances.
He added that the government had tried to reach a compromise, asking for deliveries to be staggered over the course of 10 years, but “we encountered a complete lack of flexibility on the part of the producers.”
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