Pfizer Lifts Covid-19 Vaccine Production Targets For 2021, 2022
By Jared S. Hopkins
Pfizer Inc. is raising manufacturing projections for its
Covid-19 vaccine this year and next, saying it could produce
hundreds of millions of extra doses it would send to developing
Pfizer expects to produce 3 billion doses this year, up from the
2.5 billion doses it had earlier projected, and at least 4 billion
next year, an increase from the 3 billion forecast, Chief Executive
Albert Bourla said in a post on social-media site LinkedIn.
Pfizer, which developed the vaccine with BioNTech SE, disclosed
the increase in production targets as Covid-19 vaccine makers face
pressure from developing countries, in particular, to send more
The additional supplies could help ease supply constraints in
countries hit by a surge in cases.
"These doses are not for the rich or poor, not for the north or
south. These are doses for ALL," Mr. Bourla said.
India and other countries have been confronting dramatic
increases in Covid-19 cases, while the U.S., Israel and other
developed countries log declines in cases as vaccination campaigns
Developing countries are blaming insufficient vaccine doses.
While several Covid-19 vaccines have been cleared by governments,
there is limited supply due to scarce raw materials to make them
and limited manufacturing capacity.
To spur more production, India and South Africa have urged the
World Trade Organization to waive the patents on Covid-19 vaccines
so the countries could make the shots locally. The Biden
administration said it supports a temporary waiver.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the most-administered of the
three Covid-19 vaccines cleared for use in the U.S. Pfizer has said
it is increasing distribution around the world and it has begun
shipping doses made in the U.S. to other countries.
BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said this week during an
event hosted by the Financial Times that the companies were
prepared to produce 3 billion doses this year.
Next year's projected increase is based on Pfizer's ability to
make 3 billion doses this year, which would demonstrate that Pfizer
was making doses at the rate needed to make 4 billion next year,
Mr. Bourla said.
Under its agreement with BioNTech, Pfizer distributes the
vaccine to most countries.
Pfizer has struck deals to supply doses to 116 countries and is
in talks with others to supply about 2.7 billion doses this year,
Mr. Bourla said. About 40% of these doses will go to mid- and
low-income countries, he said.
Mr. Bourla said in his LinkedIn post that patent waivers would
"derail the progress" of ramping up Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing
by threatening to upend the raw material supply chain.
To make their vaccine, Pfizer and BioNTech procure 280
ingredients made in 19 different countries, he said.
"Entities with little or no experience in manufacturing vaccines
are likely to chase the very raw materials we require to scale our
production, putting the safety and security of all at risk," he
Mr. Bourla said that he told U.S. trade officials last week that
suspending waivers was the wrong decision.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 07, 2021 18:33 ET (22:33 GMT)
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