Intermediaries offer Italy’s Veneto extra 27 million COVID-19 doses

"Our hope is to have discovered a new supply way, which all Italy can benefit from,” said Veneto President Luca Zaia of the right-wing Northern League. [Shutterstock/ M-Foto]

Two intermediaries of pharmaceutical companies producing vaccines authorised by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) reportedly offered 27 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the north-eastern Veneto region instead of the requested four million, several Italian media reported on Tuesday.

“Our hope is to have discovered a new supply way, which all Italy can benefit from,” said Veneto President Luca Zaia of the right-wing Northern League.

“These are extra doses” compared to those purchased by the EU, “which pharmaceutical companies put on the market anyway”, and which are offered “by verified intermediaries with prices in line with those agreed by the EU with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.”

In a letter, Veneto has requested Italy’s extraordinary commissioner for the coronavirus emergency to authorise the purchase agreement.

Earlier this week, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) said it was aware of reports of fraudsters seeking to sell vaccines in the EU, including through offering fake vaccines.

“They are hoaxes organised to defraud national authorities looking to step up the pace of vaccination to keep their citizens safe,” the agency said in a statement.

(Daniele Lettig | EURACTIV.it)

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