MILAN, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Italy asked the European Commission on Tuesday to take action against Pfizer over cuts to its COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, the government’s special commissioner said.
The request to Brussels came a day after Rome sent a formal warning letter to the U.S. drug company calling on it to respect its contractual commitments after a temporary slowdown in its COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.
Pfizer has said it will make up for the drop in deliveries with manufacturing changes that will boost output.
The move increased tensions between Europe and the U.S. company and came as rival vaccine developer AstraZeneca also warned of cuts to initial deliveries.
“The extraordinary commissioner … called for a discussion with the EU executive to take all appropriate action against Pfizer’s non-compliant behaviour,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement.
The statement did not say what action the Italian government was seeking from Brussels, but on Saturday the government said Pfizer’s delays amounted to a serious breach of contractual obligations and that Italy would use all available legal tools.
Pfizer was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Emilio Parodi. Editing by Josephine Mason and Mark Potter)