The European Commission's building in Brussels – Photo: wikipedia

EC supports transparency of vaccine contracts

The European Commission supports the transparency of framework agreements signed with vaccine manufacturers, the representative office of the EC in Hungary said on Thursday.

The office reacted to remarks by Gergely Gulyas, the prime minister’s chief of staff, who told a regular news conference earlier in the day that Brussels had “banned” the publication of vaccine procurement contracts by member states. Gulyas added that he had turned to the commissioner in charge of the matter to allow member states to make the EC’s vaccine contracts publicly available.

In response, the EC office in Budapest said the publication of contracts was not in the EC’s gift, and this was only possible with the approval of contracted partners.

The EC has contacted the companies and asked for their approval to make the contracts available to the public, and three of six framework agreements have been published, blanking out confidential business details, the statement said. They are contracts signed with AstraZeneca, CureVac, and Sanofi-GSK, it added.

The EC is not permitted to make public contract details about the planned and projected volume of shipments, the office said.

Commenting on untapped shipments of Moderna vaccines, Gulyas told the press conference that “we ordered everything that is due to arrive in the first half year but we did not make orders for those shipments available in the second half year, especially towards the end of it.” In response to this issue, the EC office said it had not received any questions by the media and would not provide any information to the media about potential orders of Moderna vaccines from Hungary.

The EC, in cooperation with member states, aims to ensure that Europeans receive secure and effective vaccines and to significantly speed up supplies, the statement said. As a result, an extra four million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be supplied to member states in March and the volume of vaccine shipments will be several times higher in the second quarter than in the first, it added.

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