Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia, which declined part of their Pfizer allotments to wait for Astra doses, are among the slowest in the bloc to administer vaccines, according to a European Union document seen by Bloomberg. While Pfizer has met its commitments, Astra has delivered just 30 million of its originally committed 120 million doses in the first quarter.
As a result, Bulgaria and Croatia are expected to vaccinate 45% of their populations by the middle of the year, according to the document, the lowest in the EU after the Czech Republic. Estonia will vaccinate 50%, Latvia 53% and Slovakia 46%. That compares to 61% in Germany, 80% in Denmark and 93% in Malta.
So far, the EU has administered 15.5 doses per 100 people, less than a third of what the U.K. has managed. The U.S. has given 45 shots per 100 people.
The EU is discussing a mechanism to divert a batch of 10 million Pfizer doses that will be delivered earlier than expected to some of those countries in need. The latest proposal would see five of those countries — Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia — share 3 million of the extra shots, according to two people familiar with the talks.