The U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer has blamed supply chain problems for the delivery target for its coronavirus vaccine that was capped a few weeks ago. A company spokeswoman told Reuters that it took longer than expected to ramp up the supply of raw materials. The modifications to the production processes have now been completed and the vaccine doses can be produced quickly.
Pfizer is developing the vaccine together with the Mainz-based company BioNTech. The ramp-up of raw material supply, which had taken longer, had played a role in the decision at the time to halve the delivery target for this year to 50 million vaccine doses. Another reason was that the results of a clinical study were available later than expected.
The Wall Street Journal had previously reported on the supply chain problems. The paper quoted an insider as saying that some earlier batches of starting materials did not meet the required standards. This had led to the delays in production, it said, citing the person involved in the development of the vaccine.
Target cut in half
Pfizer had initially targeted 100 million vaccine doses for this year. A few weeks ago, however, the target was halved to 50 million doses. Pfizer and BioNTech had also confirmed this new target when reporting their success in the pivotal vaccine study in mid-November. Since two doses are needed per vaccination, this would be enough for 25 million people.
On Wednesday, Great Britain was the first country in the world to approve the corona vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer. The vaccine is expected to be available in the United Kingdom shortly and vaccinations will then be started. At the beginning of the week, Pfizer and BioNTech had also submitted an application for approval in the European Union (EU). If approved soon, the use of the vaccine in the EU could be possible before the end of the year. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla had recently expressed confidence that more corona vaccine doses than necessary would be available by the end of 2021.
- hp, Source: Reuters and kurier.at. picture: pixabay.com
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