Top Pfizer executive ‘confident’ US pharmaceutical giant will be able to triple the number of Covid vaccines by year’s end
A top Pfizer executive has said he is “confident” the US pharmaceutical giant will be able to triple the number of Covid vaccines it has produced by the end of the year.
Pfizer – the first company to supply a Covid vaccine to Britain – has already raised its production target for 2021 from 2.5 billion to 3 billion.
Boost: Pfizer – the first company to supply a Covid vaccine to Britain – has already raised its 2021 production target from 2.5 billion to 3 billion
But so far it has produced about 1.2 billion doses and shipped 1 billion of them, meaning production needs to be ramped up significantly.
A push to make sure the new target is hit included the expansion of the massive production facility in Puurs, Belgium; an increase in batch sizes; and a recruiting campaign to increase the site’s workforce by approximately 1,000 to 3,400.
Scientists have also succeeded in reducing the time it takes to produce a Covid vaccine batch from 110 days to 60 days.
Danny Hendrikse, vice president of supplies at Pfizer, told The Mail on Sunday that this is likely to be accelerated. ‘We have to continuously improve. When we reach a key performance indicator, we raise our bar,” he said. “We’ve learned to make the impossible possible.”
A year ago, the UK agreed to take 30 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and then increased this order to 40 million and 100 million.
About 40 million doses have been delivered. Most of the remaining 60 million doses are expected to be delivered in the fall and winter.