Pfizer sues Poland over the COVID-19 vaccine

The first court hearing is reportedly taking place on Dec. 6. 
Pills from Pfizer

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is suing the Polish government for failing to pay for about 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

The lawsuit lays out the controversial 2021 contract that the European Commission signed with Pfizer in which up to 1.8 billion doses of the vaccine were ordered. It was later settled on at 1.1 billion doses.

According to Politico, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla exchanged text messages regarding negotiations that were reportedly controversial.

"Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking to hold Poland to its commitments for COVID-19 vaccine orders placed by the Polish Government, as part of their contract to supply the European Union signed in May 2021," a spokesperson for Pfizer told the outlet. 

Poland announced in April 2022 that it was planning to stop receipt of additional vaccines. The Polish health minister cited a force majeure clause in the contract, stating that the influx of refugees from the Ukraine war had put a financial strain on the country, and he also explained that as the pandemic situation improved, there was less need for vaccines.

A Polish newspaper reports that Pfizer brought the civil case before a Brussels court because the doses being purchased were based upon contracts that were written up under Belgian law.

The first court hearing is reportedly taking place on Dec. 6.