Pfizer vaccine delays cost Poland 1 bln PLN a day: President Duda


WARSAW, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The delay in Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine delivery is slowing the costly fight against the pandemic, Polish President Andrzej Duda told The Financial Times in an interview published on Monday.

Duda said that Pfizer's limitations to deliveries is a problem for all countries that have signed on to the vaccine, especially financially. He estimated the daily cost for Poland's efforts to contain the coronavirus at one billion Polish zloty (267.4 million U.S. dollars).

Pfizer announced on Jan. 15 that it will temporarily reduce vaccine shipments to upgrade its production facilities in Puurs, Belgium, to enable it to meet rising demands later on.

Government spokesperson Piotr Muller said on Friday that Poland will consider legal steps if Pfizer does not deliver the ordered volumes of the vaccine, adding that he counts on Pfizer to keep to its commitments.

Another vaccine producer, United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca, faced strong pushback from the European Union (EU) on Monday for failing to deliver doses ordered despite receiving EU funding. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is scheduled to issue its opinion on the marketing authorisation for the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 64 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Jan. 22.

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