Spain, France and Italy to send coronavirus vaccine to small countries
Topics: SPAIN FRANCE ITALY
Spain will send 30,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Andorra, according to an agreement published in the country’s Official Gazette on Tuesday.
“The agreement arose due to the impossibility for small countries like Andorra to sign contracts with certain pharmaceutical companies given the small number of doses they need, the size of the market and the unavailability of extra doses outside of big contracts,” Spain’s Health Ministry said in a statement.
Less than 8,000 people live in Andorra, and France has agreed to send the country doses of the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines as well.
France will also send vaccines to Monaco, while Italy has agreed to supply San Marino and Vatican City.
The Spanish Health Ministry said the vaccines will be resold to Andorra at the same price Spain paid.
Spain expects to receive 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine before the end of March – enough to vaccinate 2.3 million people.
Since Spain began vaccinating in late December, Pfizer has been sending the country around 350,000 doses per week.
This week, however, Pfizer said shipments were being affected by changes to its manufacturing processes, so Spain received fewer than 200,000 doses.
Spain has agreed to purchase 140 million vaccine doses for 80 million people this year, even though its population is just 47 million. The excess will be sent to non-EU countries under principles of “solidarity,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said.
But for Spain to receive that many doses, vaccines made by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and GSK, and CureVac must be approved.
The EU has approved only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so far, of which Spain has administered nearly 900,000 doses. ■