Faced with delays, Italy bangs its fist on the table

Faced with delays, Italy bangs its fist on the table
Faced with delays, Italy bangs its fist on the table

By the end of February, Italy expected to receive 3.36 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. He will likely be missing several hundred thousand. During the past week, the pharmaceutical group has already delivered 165,000 doses less than expected.

So much so that the government of Giuseppe Conte has decided to bang its fist on the table and plans to take legal action against the company in the short term.

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The protection of the health of Italian citizens is not negotiable”, denounced the boss of the Italian crisis unit for the pandemic, Domenico Arcuri, adding that

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The vaccination campaign cannot be slowed down, let alone the administration of the second doses to many Italians who have already received the first”.

«Flop».

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The Prime Minister’s services have already acted as State legal counsel to study the modalities of a possible complaint. But the Italian press stresses that the judicial route is narrow. “Italy’s appeal is intended to flop”, predict for example the daily the print car “At first glance, respecting the weekly delivery schedule does not represent a legal obligation.

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The only deadline that the company would be absolutely bound to respect is quarterly ”. Clearly, Pfizer-BioNTech would have until the end of March to meet its commitments. And this while the company ensures that from mid-February

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The quantities of vaccines delivered will increase”.

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The other possible legal remedy, but quite improbable, would consist in showing that the delays caused health damage, for example, to a patient who would have received the first dose but would have fallen ill with Covid-19 for lack of a second injection. Meanwhile, after having successfully vaccinated no less than 1,251,000 people since the start of the year, Italy has had to slow down the pace of operations.

Attempt to adapt. From 92,000 daily injections before Jan. 15, the average has fallen to 33,000. Priority is now given to people who need to recall after a 29% drop in deliveries from Pfizer since Monday. Each region tries to adapt to the new situation. Lazio has, for example, to be able to ensure the second injections, ordered to suspend the administration of the first doses “To all categories of the population”. And vaccinations for those over 80 have been postponed until early February.


Éric Jozsef Correspondent in Rome

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