The US pharmaceutical company Moderna will deliver 20% fewer vaccines to Italy than promised in the week starting on February 7, Italy's special commissioner for Covid-19 said on Friday.
"Minutes ago, Moderna told us about the cut in the distribution of its vaccines. In the week beginning February 7, only 132,000 doses will arrive, 20% less than agreed," Domenico Arcuri said.
Italy, the country with the second-highest toll of Covid-19 deaths in Europe after Britain, is also grappling with delays in vaccine deliveries by the US firm Pfizer, to which Rome has already sent a formal warning letter.
"As of today, we are missing 3,00,000 vaccine doses. Every day there is worse news than the day before. Vaccines are not soft drinks or snacks, they are the only antidote to the dark night that has lasted a year," Arcuri told a news conference.
He said the decisions on deliveries were being taken unilaterally and without notice.
Italy has also asked the European Commission to take action against Pfizer, which has said it is slowing supplies to Europe temporarily in order to make changes that will allow it to boost output.