Pfizer vaccine delivery delayed in Spain and other EU countries

WION Web Team
Madrid, Spain Published: Dec 28, 2020, 04:31 PM(IST)

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The delay in the fresh batch of vaccines has occurred due to a 'problem in the loading and shipment process' at the Pfizer plant in Belgium

A day after the European Union countries started vaccinating locals for the novel coronavirus, Spain officials have reported that the country has not yet got their full share of doses of the Pfizer vaccine yet.

Pfizer has postponed the delivery of new batches of COVID-19 vaccines to eight European Union countries, including Spain, the Spanish health ministry reported on Monday. The statement has come a few days after the EU chief Ursula von der Leyen announced all EU nations have received their share of vaccines.

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The delay in the fresh batch of vaccines has occurred due to a "problem in the loading and shipment process" at the Pfizer plant in Belgium, the health ministry reported on Monday. Spain was informed about the delay on Sunday night.

While Spain has issued a statement, the names of the other seven EU countries who have felt the brunt of this delay have not ben named yet.

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Pfizer has reported that thee issue "was already resolved "but added that the next delivery of coronavirus vaccines "will be a few hours late". The vaccine is now expected to reach Spain on Tuesday — which is a day after the original arrival date.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said the problem was apparently "linked to the control of the temperature" of the shipments which is now "apparently fixed". These vaccines need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures of about -70 degrees Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit) before being shipped in cool boxes which are custom designed and filled with dry ice. Once out of ultra-low temperature storage, the vaccine must be kept at 2 Celsius to 8 Celsius to remain effective for up to five days.

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"Due to a minor logistical issue, we have rescheduled a limited number of our deliveries," Andrew Widger, Pfizer's director for media relations said. "The logistical matter has been resolved and those deliveries are now being dispatched. There are no manufacturing issues to report."

The European country, Spain, has to receive 350,000 doses of vaccines per week for the next three months, which is expected to arrive by Tuesday now for this week.

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