March 2, 2021 - 10:34 AMT
Georgia may sue COVAX, Health Minister says

Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze said on Monday, March 1 that the country does not rule out suing COVAX, the UN-backed Covid vaccine sharing scheme, over allegations that the country failed to meet the platform’s requirements for receiving vaccines, Civil Georgia reports.

The Minister’s remarks came after the Tbilisi-based Interpressnews agency quoted the COVAX as saying that Georgia failed to meet mandatory criteria for receiving the Pfizer vaccine, involving regulatory approval and signing a contract on the indemnification of the pharmaceutical company against potential vaccine-related adverse events.

“Unfortunately, all of these [allegations] might be used by our opposition during these politically trying times, to escalate tensions [and] polarization,” Minister Tikaradze told Rustavi 2 TV, adding that the Health Ministry “will not allow the ordinary allegation to become a reason in benefit for the opponents.”

Georgia’s Deputy Health Minister, Tamar Gabunia said that in mid-February when the country expected the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine jabs, the COVAX notified the Georgian authorities that Pfizer had raised additional indemnification requirements that “has nothing to do with the country’s technical readiness for receiving the coronavirus vaccine.” She noted that the Georgian authorities will discuss the company’s additional requirements about indemnification with both COVAX and Pfizer this week and only afterward, the negotiations will move to the final stage of payment.