Top Pfizer executive ‘confident’ US pharma giant will be able to triple number of Covid vaccines it has manufactured by end of year
A top Pfizer executive has said he is ‘confident’ the US pharma giant will be able to triple the number of Covid vaccines it has manufactured by the end of the year.
Pfizer – the first company to supply a Covid vaccine to Britain – has already raised its 2021 production target from 2.5billion to 3billion.
Boost: Pfizer – the first company to supply a Covid vaccine to Britain – has already raised its 2021 production target from 2.5billion to 3billion
But so far it has produced around 1.2billion doses and shipped 1billion of these – meaning a significant ramp-up in production is required.
A push to ensure the new target is hit has included expanding its vast manufacturing facility in Puurs, Belgium; an increase in its batch sizes; and a recruitment drive to increase the site’s workforce by around 1,000 to 3,400.
Scientists have also managed to reduce the time taken to produce a Covid vaccine batch from 110 days to 60 days.
Danny Hendrikse, vice president of supply at Pfizer, told The Mail on Sunday this is likely to be speeded up. ‘We have to continuously improve. If we reach a key performance indicator, we set our bar higher,’ he said. ‘We’ve learned to make the impossible possible.’
A year ago, the UK agreed to take 30million Pfizer-BioNTech doses then upped this order to 40million and 100million.
Around 40million doses have been delivered. The bulk of the remaining 60million doses are expected to be delivered in the autumn and winter.