Kurz’s comments were denied by the EU spokesperson, who played down the behind-the-scenes deal allegations.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz suggested on Friday that some European countries may have signed ‘secret contracts’ with vaccine companies to receive more vaccines than they were entitled to under EU rules European.
EU members agreed that vaccines should be distributed among countries based on population size, but Kurz said that after comparing total purchases between member states, it became clear that ” deliveries do not follow the per capita quota system ”.
“There are clues that point to so-called bazaars where additional deals between member states and pharmaceutical companies have been made,” Kurz said.
“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 vaccine doses per capita until the end of June than Germany, but almost twice as many as Croatia,” Kurz said.
“This is clearly in contradiction with the political objectives of the EU,” he said.
But an EU spokesperson played down the allegations of backroom deals.
“Member States can decide to request less or more of a given vaccine, and this is discussed between Member States,” said Stefan de Keersmaecker.
“In this context, it is possible, following discussions between the Member States, that a new distribution key will be agreed with the company,” he said.
The EU has been criticized for its slow deployment of vaccines, which it has blamed on supply and delivery problems.
European countries lag behind the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom in terms of the percentage of the population who have already received at least one dose.