The countries of the European Union will donate 100,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech to the Czech Republic, and according to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Czechia will receive these vaccines within the next week. Extra doses will be also sent to Slovakia and Austria.
“Thanks to EU solidarity and the Commission’s SOS mechanism, the Czech Republic will receive an extra 100,000 doses of Pfizer next week. This will speed up vaccination and help beat the virus,” Babiš wrote on Twitter.
Thanks to EU solidarity and the Commission's SOS mechanism, the Czech Republic will receive an extra 100,000 doses of @pfizer next week. This will speed up vaccination and help beat the virus.
— Andrej Babiš (@AndrejBabis) March 3, 2021
According to the Hospodářské noviny daily, Pfizer has accelerated vaccine production in recent days, so it will deliver more doses to the European Union than originally promised. The EU states have agreed that part of these extra doses will not be distributed to the EU countries based on the population size. These doses will go first to those states that have requested them due to the critical epidemiological situation.
Besides the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria will also receive an extra 100,000 doses each.
“Slovakia can also rely on its European partners in difficult times. I am very glad that today we finally managed to reach an agreement on the so-called SOS doses of vaccines,” stated Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič on his Facebook page.
In Austria, according to the APA news agency, donated vaccines will be given to citizens of the Tyrolean district of Schwaz, which reported the spread of the so-called South African COVID-19 variant.
According to the original joint EU order, Czechia was to receive about 3 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. In addition to that, the country already uses Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
At the instigation of Babiš, President Miloš Zeman also asked China to supply the Czech Republic with its Sinopharm vaccine. According to the embassy in Beijing, China has decided to immediately comply with Zeman’s request.
The president has previously asked Russia for the Sputnik V vaccine, however, like Sinopharm, the vaccine is not yet approved for use in European Union countries.
Earlier, the German state of Saxony promised to send 15,000 doses of AstraZeneca to the Czech Republic. Soldiers have also brought 5,000 doses of Moderna vaccine from Israel in previous days.
Title image: An elderly man receives Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a sports hall in Ricany, Czech Republic, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. With new infections soaring due to a highly contagious coronavirus variant and hospitals filling up, one of the hardest-hit countries in the European Union is facing inevitable: a tighter lockdown. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)