Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) indicated on Friday that it will reduce deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe temporarily as it ramps up annual production capacity to around 2 billion dosses. The company said that it needed to conduct some modifications at its Puurs factor to increase production from mid-February.
Pfizer ramping production to 2 billion doses annually
The US pharmaceutical company that produced a COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) said that it will increase deliveries from late February and early March. Pfizer Denmark’s spokeswoman, Line Fedders said that they are targeting 2 billion doses per year and thus the need to upscale production at the Puurs facility. She explained that the upscaling involves facilities and processes adaptation in the plant that needs regulatory approvals and quality tests.
Fedders said that because of this they expect reduced deliveries for European nations at the end of this month and early February. Most importantly, the reduction in deliveries will affect all EU countries.
Following the announcement, several EU health ministers have expressed severe concerns regarding the delays in vaccine delivery. In a letter, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland health ministers said that the situation was unacceptable and it reduces the vaccination process’s credibility.
Pfizer will meet deliveries for Q1 2021
EU commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen said that she reached Pfizer CEO regarding the delays. She said that Pfizer guaranteed that they will deliver all COVID—19 vaccine doses ordered by the block for Q1 2021. Vin der Leyen said that she received the information following the announcement from Pfizer but all doses order for Q1 will be available.
A statement from the Germany Health Ministry indicated that they had received information from the EU commission that Pfizer will not manage to fulfill the delivery of doses promised by mid-February. The ministry said that officials have taken the announcement with regret because Pfizer had committed to deliver the doses by mid next month. The EU commission sealed a deal for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine on behalf of its member states.