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Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Saturday that they would limit delays in delivery of their vaccines to just a week after fears in Europe that shipments of the jabs could be slowed by up to a month.
The US drug manufacturer and its German partner “have developed a plan that will make it possible to increase production capacities in Europe and to deliver significantly more doses in the second quarter,” said a joint statement.
“As a result, our facility in Puurs, Belgium will temporarily reduce the number of cans dispensed over the coming week.”
Pfizer and BioNTech have promised that shipments will return to the original schedule for the European Union from the week of January 25th and will increase shipments from the week of February 15th.
“To achieve this, certain modifications to the production processes are now required.”
Pfizer announced on Friday that it would be delaying delivery of the batches in the next three to four weeks due to work at its main Belgian plant.
The changes at the Puurs plant are necessary in order to increase production capacity from mid-February.
In hard-hit Europe, the statement raised concerns that the delays could further slow down the introduction of vaccines, which have already faced heavy criticism.
Six EU health ministers signed a letter to the European Commission on Friday to express “serious concerns” about the delivery delays.
The record-breaking Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was first approved for general use by a western country on December 2nd when the UK gave it the go-ahead.
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© 2021 AFP
Quote: Pfizer, BioNTech to limit delays in vaccine delivery to one week (2021, January 16), accessed January 17, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-pfizer-biontech- limit-vaccine-shipments.html
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