Pfizer vaccine shipments to 8 EU countries delayed

Madrid, Dec 28 (efe-epa).- Pharma major Pfizer has announced a one-day delay in shipments of the Covid-19 vaccine to eight European countries due to some loading and shipping problems, the Spanish health ministry said on Monday.

The ministry, in a statement, said Pfizer Spain had informed it “that the delivery of the promised vaccine shipment to Spain is postponed from Monday to Tuesday.”

The vaccine manufacturer said its factory in Puurs, Belgium, had informed it about “the delay in shipments to eight European countries due to a problem in the loading and shipping process.”

The ministry, citing the pharmaceutical company, said that “the situation has already been resolved.”

“The next delivery of vaccines will be delayed by a few hours and will arrive in Spain on Tuesday, Dec. 29, for the continuation of vaccination throughout the national territory.”

The first 9,750 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccines arrived in Spain from Belgium on Saturday in two containers, the same that have been sent to each member state of the European Union (EU) for this “first symbolic delivery,” CEO of Pfizer Spain, Sergio Rodríguez, said on Sunday.

The delivery of vaccines was supposed to have been expanded from Monday – now pushed to Tuesday – with another 350,000 scheduled doses.

The same quantity will be delivered every Monday for the next 12 weeks until a total of 4.5 million doses have been delivered. These vaccines will be used to vaccinate priority groups.

The European Commission has ordered 200 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, out of which Spain accounts for 10 percent – around 20 million – according to its population.

The European Union on Sunday began its coordinated rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 with nations giving priority to older people and healthcare staff.

The Italian health ministry described the first delivery of the vaccines as “symbolic” and said that the real program would kick off on Monday.

“A privilege that we hope will reach others”, said some of the first people to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine amid widespread media coverage at a time when the continent is facing strict travel restrictions due to the high number of infections and deaths. EFE-EPA


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