Italy considers to sue Pfizer over vaccine delivery delays

Italy is considering legal action against Pfizer Inc after the U.S. drugmaker announced a further cut in coronavirus vaccine deliveries, the country’s Covid-19 special commissioner Domenico Arcuri said on Wednesday. Pfizer told Italy last week that it was cutting its deliveries by 29%.

A spokeswoman for Pfizer declined to comment on Wednesday about Italy’s legal threat and criticism about delivery delays beyond its statement on Friday about supply cuts. The drugmaker said last week it was temporarily slowing supplies of its coronavirus vaccine to Europe to make manufacturing changes that would boost output.

According to an Italian source, cited by Reuters, Rome is now trying to assess whether Pfizer is acting under force majeure, or circumstances beyond its control. If not, the drug group could be accused of breaching the contract it has signed with the European Union on state members’ behalf, the source said. One possibility could be for Rome to call on the European Union to present a lawsuit to a court in Belgium’s capital, Brussels, the source said.

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