Biontech wants to supply EU with more vaccine doses than planned

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German vaccine manufacturer Biontech wants to supply the EU with as much of its product as possible than was actually planned. “Of course, we are working to also make up for the reduction in deliveries of ampoules and even deliver more than 100 percent of the doses in the first quarter,” CFO Sierk Poetting told the Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspapers (Thursday editions).

Biontech and its U.S. partner Pfizer are currently supplying less vaccine to the EU than planned because of rebuilding work at a Belgian plant. However, the total volume of deliveries in the first quarter is expected to remain the same. Poetting, speaking to newspapers, reiterated the goal of “delivering all doses of vaccine promised to the EU while expanding production capacity.” He said Biontech is doing “everything to supply the EU in the best possible way.”

“Have no buffer”
“To understand the situation, you have to know: We always deliver everything that is there worldwide because of the urgency and demand,” Poetting explained the situation. “We pre-produced, at our own risk, before there was any approval. But we have no buffer with which to compensate for fluctuations.” So then “seven days of conversions could just mean a gap of seven to ten million doses.” The conversion of the Belgian plant should enable a significantly higher production capacity in the medium term.

Poetting also said his company is “in talks with the EU about another contract for 300 million vaccine doses, 100 of them as an option. This would allow the EU to purchase up to 600 million vaccine doses in 2021 from Biontech and Pfizer.”

The Biontech/Pfizer vaccine was the first to be approved in the EU against coronavirus. In mid-January, Pfizer announced it would reduce supplies of the vaccine for several weeks. There are also supply bottlenecks for the vaccine from the British-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca.

— source: orf.at/picture: kurier.at

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