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Croatian PM warns against COVID-19 'vaccine hijacking' amid delivery delays in EU

Christian Fernsby |
Vaccine diplomacy has turned into vaccine hijacking, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told reporters here on Monday, commenting on delays of COVID-19 vaccine delivery in the European Union.

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Topics: CROATIA   

Plenkovic noted that pharmaceutical companies should respect the deal they have reached with the EU. "(The) EU invested enormous funds as support to the research and pharmaceutical companies. We will insist that they meet contract obligations," Plenkovic said.

He noted that the problem has occurred after some countries started paying more for the vaccine than what the EU has negotiated with the companies.

"Croatia still didn't take a road to search for vaccines from other companies. Once that happens, there is no joint agreement," he stressed.

Croatia has ordered 5.6 million doses of vaccines from various manufactures through the EU. Vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine started here on Dec. 28, with residents of care homes and medical workers being the first to receive the jab.

More than 70,000 people in Croatia have been vaccinated so far, and around 11,907 have got the second dose. Due to the delivery delay, the second phase of the vaccination will be postponed.

However, Plenkovic on Monday noted that he thinks Croatia will provide its people with necessary doses for the second shot, saying that "there will be no danger that someone who received the first shot doesn't receive the second one in time."

In the last 24 hours, Croatia recorded 134 new COVID-19 cases and 32 related deaths, the Croatian Institute of Public Health reported on Monday.

Since Feb. 25, 2020, when the country's first case here was registered, 229,054 people have been infected and 4,859 have died.

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