World Pfizer's CEO says he sees 'no issues' in delivering 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines on time
More than 200 COVID-19 vaccines are still in development, with some now focusing on mutant strains and older people
Experts say the best COVID-19 vaccines may not actually exist yet, with researchers set to learn from the first rollouts and evolve the science to target new mutant strains and specific populations such as older people. It comes as two Australian-based vaccine developers reveal they are re-focusing their vaccine candidates to target potential new mutant strains of the virus such as those seen in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.
- Pfizer's chief executive sees "no issues" in delivering on its COVID-19 vaccine commitments.
- The company will be able to deliver `at least' 2 billion doses globally, CEO Albert Bourla said.
Pfizer's chief executive officer is confident that the company can deliver 2 billion doses of the company's COVID-19 vaccine to the world in 2021 and 200 million doses to the US by the end of May.
Here’s Why It Will Be Hard to Ramp Up COVID Vaxx Production
By Liz Szabo, Sarah Jane Tribble, Arthur Allen, and Jay Hancock Americans are dying of COVID-19 by the thousands, but efforts to ramp up production of potentially lifesaving vaccines are hitting a brick wall. Vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are running their factories full tilt and are under enormous pressure to expand production or collaborate with other drug companies to set up additional assembly lines. That pressure is only growing as new viral variants of the virus threaten to launch the country into a deadlier phase of the pandemic.
"We forsee no issues with delivering the commitments we have made," CEO Albert Bourla said on the company's. He touted Pfizer's manufacturing and distribution so far of its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed with BioNTech and emergency approved by the FDA in December. A two-dose vaccine from Moderna was emergency approved shortly after.
"Because of the dire need to vaccinate more people, we have explored innovative plans to increase the number of doses we are able to produce globally by the end of 2021," the CEO said.
The company originally estimated it would deliver 1.2 billion doses worldwide this year, but after its vials were found to include, the company boosted its goal to 2 billion. On Tuesday's call, the CEO was confident in meeting â€" and perhaps exceeding â€" that goal: "We now believe we can potentially deliver at least 2 billion doses in total by the end of 2021," based on the six-dose label, Bourla said.
Vaccine maker Pfizer in talks to sell Australia millions more doses
Pfizer Australia's market access director Louise Graham told a Senate inquiry the company anticipated new negotiations about a further allocation could start in coming weeks. 'The allocation to Australia is 10 million doses. We expect to be in future discussions about the ability to increase that,' she told the hearing on Thursday.
Hethat the company would deliver 200 million doses of the vaccine to the US by the end of May, two months ahead of the contractual agreement. "We are continuing to work closely with the US government on our production, release, and shipping schedules to help states ensure Americans ," he said during the call, based on a transcript provided by Sentieo.
So far,in the US, with almost 6 million people received both doses, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
When President Joe Biden took office in January, he ramped up purchases of the vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNTech and the other from Moderna. The increased supply means 300 million Americans could be vaccinated with either of the two-dose vaccines by the end of the summer.
The EU-AstraZeneca vaccine fight, explained
The European Union’s vaccination program has struggled, and now the bloc is taking actions that could hamper global vaccine efforts.The EU purchased 400 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which the company made in partnership with Oxford University, in advance of it being approved by EU regulators. But last week, AstraZeneca abruptly announced that due to production issues it would only be able to deliver about 40 percent of the total promised in the first quarter, or about 31 million doses, to the EU.
Last week, Johnson and Johnson and Novavax released their versions of a COVID-19 vaccine, with the former showing a 72% efficacy at curbing symptomatic infections and the latter showing an 89% efficacy in UK trials. Both rates for the vaccines dropped when tested against the.
Pfizer, whose vaccine wasn't originally tested on the South Africa variant, released results of an in vitro study on the variant last week. On the call, Bourla said he was "encouraged" by the early study.
The US hasof the South Africa variant, which can spread more easily and quickly, according to the CDC. Since the COVID-19 virus began spreading in the US last year, there have been 26 million cases and more than 400,000 deaths in the country. Globally, there have been more than 2 million deaths.
Russia, China expanding Middle East sway with COVID-19 vaccines .
Moscow and Beijing using coronavirus shots in a soft-power move to extend influence in Middle East countries.Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait purchased US vaccines, claiming their efficacy rate is higher, and Iraq has ordered vaccines from the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca and the US’s Pfizer.