Austrian chancellor claims some EU states have secret vaccine deals

Friday, March 12

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has suggested that some EU countries may have signed “secret contracts” with vaccine companies.

Secret deals between nations and pharmaceutical companies have run contrary to the policy of inoculating the bloc’s population equally across countries, and that divergence will get worse heading into summer, Kurz said Friday at a press conference in Vienna. 

“Malta will receive three times as many doses per capita as Bulgaria until the end of July,” he said.

“The Netherlands would not only receive more doses of vaccine per capita until the end of June than Germany, but almost twice as many as Croatia,” Kurz said.

“This is in clear contradiction to the political goals of the EU,” he said.

He accused some member states of signing non-disclosure agreements about vaccine contracts and called for "transparency and clarification" on vaccine contracts.

He accused a “steering board” of EU health officials of brokering backroom agreements.

The EU has come under fire for its sluggish vaccine rollout, which it has blamed on supply and delivery problems.

European nations lag behind the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom in terms of the percentage of the population that has already received at least one dose.

Newsday and Agencies