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Polaris of Enlightenment

Pfizer sues Poland for breach of contract

The criticized covid vaccinations

Published 30 November 2023
- By Editorial Staff
The legal dispute between Pfizer and Poland will be settled in Brussels.

Pfizer is suing Poland over 60 million doses of covid-19 vaccine that the country has not yet paid for. The decision, according to the pharmaceutical company, was made “following a prolonged contractual breach”.

It was in 2021 that the European Commission made a deal with Pfizer for 1.8 billion doses of covid-19 vaccine. The agreement, which was the largest vaccine contract ever made by the EU, was based on secret text message conversations between Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. In a report from the European Court of Auditors last year, questions were raised about why the European Commission refused to disclose the chairman’s text messages with the CEO. However, the text message conversations had been deleted and could not be handed over, something that the Court of Auditors expressed dissatisfaction with at the time.

In April 2022, Adam Niedzielski, who was then Poland’s health minister, announced that the country had stopped receiving deliveries of covid-19 vaccine. The decision was based on a force majeure clause in the contract, referring, among other things, to the financial strains caused by the influx of refugees from the war in Ukraine and the subsequent economic disruptions. The health minister added that the need for covid-19 vaccines in Poland had significantly decreased as the situation in the country had greatly improved.

Settled in Belgium

Now Pfizer, along with BioNTech, is suing Poland over the 60 million doses that the country has not yet paid for, reports Politico. The decision was made “following a prolonged contractual breach, and a period of discussions in good faith between the parties”.

– Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking to hold Poland to its commitments for covid-19 vaccine orders placed by the Polish Government, as part of their contract to supply the European Union signed in May 2021, a spokesperson for the news site said.

The pharmaceutical company has opened a civil case against Poland in a court in Brussels, as the agreement was signed in Belgium and thus falls under Belgian law. Poland’s current health minister, Katarzyna Sójka, believes it is a difficult case, but that there is a chance to end the dispute “in a positive way.”

The first hearing is reportedly scheduled to take place on December 6.

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