Brussels — European Commission President Ursula von der Reyen no longer owns the text message exchanged with Pfizer’s Chief Albert Bourla to conclude a COVID-19 vaccine agreement, the European Commission said. Said in a letter released on Wednesday.
In an April 2021 interview, Von der Leyen revealed that he had exchanged texts with Bula for a month while negotiating a large vaccine deal.
However, in response to a request for public access by journalists due to the importance of the transaction, the Commission did not share the text and triggered a fraudulent control accusation by EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly.
“The European Commission can confirm that the investigation conducted by the President’s Cabinet on the relevant text message in response to the request for access to the document did not yield any results,” said EU judiciary Bella Jouroba. Ombudsman said in a letter to EU observers.
In the letter, the Commission argues that text messages are treated as “short-lived temporary documents” and do not need to be registered and stored. The letter states that the same exceptions to general registration requirements apply to documents that do not have important information.
An ombudsman spokesman said he plans to publish a detailed analysis of this issue in the coming weeks.
Von der Leyen himself said in an interview with the New York Times that the deal, negotiated by text message and telephone, is the largest deal ever signed for the COVID-19 vaccine, with the EU at 900 million. Pfizer-Promised to buy BioNTech, Shots, with the option to buy an additional 900 million.
When the deal was officially announced in May 2021, the EU already had hundreds of millions of pharmaceuticals, including an additional 600 million doses of vaccine, based on the previous two deals with two companies from Pfizer and BioNTech. I had hundreds of millions of vaccines from the company.
The deal was endorsed by all EU governments, but by some governments seeking to renegotiate or reduce supply from Pfizer and other vaccine makers amid sluggish vaccination and increased risk of waste. It was later questioned.