Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has announced that it will ship only half of the initially expected coronavirus vaccine doses this year due to supply chain problems. The company is developing a COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with Germany-based BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX).
Pfizer to deliver 50 million vaccine doses this year
The pharmaceutical giant has slashed its initial distribution target of 100 million doses globally by the end of 2020 to around 50 million doses. However, the company is optimistic that it will roll out more than one billion doses by 2021. Pfizer spokeswoman said that expansion of the raw material supply chain took more time than expected. Therefore it is important to note that the clinical trial outcome was somehow late than its initial projection.
On December 2, 2020, the UK granted Pfizer’s vaccine emergency use authorization becoming the first country in the western world to administer the vaccine. Pfizer’s two-shot inoculation is currently under review by the US FDA, where emergency user authorization is expected later this month with roll-out anticipated before year-end.
The US targeted 40 million COVID-19 doses by the end of 2020
The US was planning to distribute 6.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine after authorization. It is unclear how the delay will affect the distribution considering the US had a target of distributing 40 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) by the end of 2020. An individual involved in developing the Pfizer vaccines said the delays are dues to failure if early raw material batches meet standards. However, they fixed the problems but ran out of time to meet projected shipments before the year ends.
Pfizer gets raw materials for the production of the vaccine from US and European providers. Unfortunately, there was a problem with scaling up the raw materials’ production as Pfizer waited for data from trials. Study results showed the Pfizer vaccine to be effective and well-tolerated. The company has not given the specifics where the shortfalls over raw materials were in scaling production.