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Supply chain challenges cause Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine production target to be slashed

Posted: 8 December 2020 | | 1 comment

Pfizer spokesperson reveals supply chain challenges and late clinical trial results contributed to its COVID-19 vaccine production target for 2020 being halved.

vials labelled 'CORONAVIRUS VACCINE' on a production line

According to a Pfizer spokeswoman, challenges in the company’s supply chain played a role in its decision to cut its 2020 COVID-19 vaccine production target by half.

Recently, Pfizer announced it expected to produce 50 million doses of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine candidate this year – this is half the target of 100 million doses it set earlier in 2020.

The spokeswoman said in an interview with Reuters that the scale-up of the supply chain for raw materials used in the production of the COVID-19 vaccine had taken “longer than expected” and “played a role” in the enterprise’s decision to reduce the 2020 production target. She also added that the later-than-expected results from a clinical trial also impacted the decision.

According to the spokeswoman, the modifications to the production lines are now complete and that the company is rapidly producing finished doses.

The news of the reduced COVID-19 vaccine production target first broke in The Wall Street Journal, in their article they reported that an unnamed person directly involved in the development of the vaccine said “some early batches of the raw materials failed to meet the standards,” resulting in production delays.

The BNT162b2 vaccine is currently approved under emergency use in the UK and is under review for the same in the US. The US Government expects to receive 6.4 million doses in its first allocation, with more to follow.

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