Covid-19 Vaccine: The Spanish branch of Pfizer informed Madrid of the delay in shipments to the eight nations due to a "problem in the loading and shipment process" at its plant in Belgium, the health ministry said.
has postponed the delivery of new batches of its coronavirus vaccine
to eight European nations including Spain, the Spanish health ministry said Monday, a day after the EU began its immunisation campaign.
The Spanish branch of Pfizer
informed Madrid on Sunday night of the delay in shipments to the eight nations due to a "problem in the loading and shipment process" at its plant in Belgium, the health ministry said in a statement.
It did not specify which European nations aside from Spain were affected.
has informed the ministry that the problem "was already resolved" but the next delivery of vaccines
"will be a few hours late" and arrive in Spain on Tuesday, a day later than expected, the statement said.
Asked about the delay during an interview with radio Ser, Health Minister Salvador Illa said it was due to a problem "linked to the control of the temperature" of the shipments which was "apparently fixed".
must be stored at ultra-low temperatures of about -70 degrees Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit) before being shipped to distribution centres in specially designed cool boxes filled with dry ice.
Once out of ultra-low temperature storage, the vaccine
must be kept at 2 Celsius to 8 Celsius to remain effective for up to five days.
Spain is scheduled to received 350,000 doses of the Pfizer
-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine
per week over the next three months.
Most European Union nations began their immunisation campaigns against the virus this weekend with the Pfizer
jab, beginning with the elderly, health care workers and politicians.