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EU announces ‘top-up’ of ten million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines in Q2

Brings total number of doses of the vaccine to be delivered in Q2 to over 200 million

The European Commission (EC) announced earlier this week that it has agreed on an accelerated delivery of ten million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement issued yesterday, the EC said that the ten million dose ‘top-up’ was part of the option of 100 million doses in its second contract with Pfizer/BioNTech, initially allocated for Q3 and Q4 of 2021, and would be brought forward.

“I know how critical Quarter 2 is for the roll-out of our vaccination strategies in the member states,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EC.

“These accelerated ten million doses will bring the total [number of] doses of BioNTech-Pfizer in Quarter 2 to over 200 million. This is very good news. It gives member states room to manoeuvre and possibly fill gaps in deliveries,” she added.

The EU has faced a number of problems during its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, with supply issues previously being reported for both the Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccines.

The suspension of the AZ/Oxford vaccine by a number of EU countries, following reports of suspected blood clots in people vaccinated with the jab, has hindered the EU's vaccination drive even further.

Earlier this month, BioNTech’s chief executive officer Ugur Sahin told Bloomberg News that three billion doses of the Pfizer-partnered vaccine could be manufactured in 2022.

By the end of 2021, Pfizer/BioNTech are aiming to manufacture approximately two billion doses of their vaccine globally, if all goes to plan with their continuous process improvements, expansion at current facilities and addition of new suppliers and contract manufacturers.

The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in a deal agreed following the approval of the jab in December 2020.

It is not known exactly how many doses of either the Pfizer/BionTech or AZ/Oxford vaccines have been supplied to the UK so far, according to the BMJ.

As of 15 March, over 24.8 million people had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as the vaccination drive expands to include everyone aged 50 years or over.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

17th March 2021

From: Research

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