Estonia, along with many other countries in the European Union, has purchased additional doses of coronavirus vaccine from developers Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. Although the product’s effectiveness and trustworthiness are the same, Estonia has decided to go to Pfizer for additional doses, although the company has not yet reached the end of the base contract with the EU.
“When we look at the speed and price of delivery, Pfizer / BioNTech is the safer choice. For this reason, Estonia will continue Pfizer / BioNTecg and we will not order additional doses from Moderna on the terms offered to us.” “said Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (center).
According to Kiik, Pfizer is the only company able to produce enough vaccines for Europe. Moderna’s vaccines are made in the United States and the additional doses will arrive in Estonia in the second half of 2021. The Minister of Social Affairs said the fact that some of Pfizer’s manufacturing is in Europe speaks for the company.
“Today we are discussing with three different locations where vaccines could be developed in the coming months based on an optimistic timeline to increase production capacity and capacity shipped to Estonia,” added Kiik.
Pfizer / BioNTech has not yet submitted precise delivery schedules to Estonia. The company spokeswoman in Estonia, Anneli Taal, told ETVs “Aktuaalne kaamera” that a shipment of 2,730 vials will arrive in Estonia next Monday, almost 4,000 cans more than the previous shipment. According to the Estonian Medicines Agency and worldwide procedures, one vial allows five to six doses, depending on the syringe.
While Estonia has received the number of vaccines under the basic contract, the country missed supposed vaccines in late 2020. “Today, Pfizer’s capacity in the first quarter was about 80 percent of what the countries wanted, but Pfizer is working with the EU to expand capacity. They are developing a new plant in Germany and new production lines,” said Keit Kasemets , Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Estonia.
The EU plans to procure 75 million additional doses of vaccine with one handover in the spring months.
While Estonia is hoping to receive the vaccines provided as part of the EU joint procurement, Germany has already announced that it will procure an additional 30 million doses. Kasemets said Estonians had no reason to worry that the German supplementary treaty would leave Estonia without vaccines.
“It is currently agreed that the additional purchase of Germany will be filled after delivery of the cans ordered by the EU,” confirmed the spokesman for the European Commission in Estonia.
According to the EU’s basic contract with Pfizer / BioNTech, the company has to deliver 600,000 doses of the vaccine to Estonia by the end of September. Estonia plans to receive an additional 250,000 cans and the government will set the final number on Tuesday.
Kiik said, however, not only will Estonia hope for a developer, but the Pfizer vaccine will also be used to vaccinate health care workers, home residents and at risk groups.
“All vaccine developers that come onto the market, be it AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceutica or Curevac, give us the opportunity to vaccinate a broader population base,” said the Minister for Social Affairs.
AstraZeneca and Janssen Pharmaceutica were due to receive marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency from January to February.
As of the basic contract, Estonia will receive 30,000 doses of vaccine from Moderna, with a further 100,000 doses expected to arrive in the second and third quarters of 2021. As of Monday, 10,972 people in Estonia had received their first vaccine injection.
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