Pfizer hope to deliver two BILLION doses of vaccine by end of 2021

Pfizer’s president of global supply says they hope to deliver two BILLION doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021

  • Mike McDermott said that Pfizer was confident of reaching the ambitious goal
  • Pfizer’s factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has increased from one shift to three
  • The site has grown from one production line to four and works around the clock
  • He said Pfizer believed they were well-placed to adapt to new mutations 

One of Pfizer’s top executives has said that the New York-based company is confident it can deliver two billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year, and insisted that the company was well-positioned to deal with possible mutations in the virus.

Mike McDermott, president of global supply, has spent 30 years working for Pfizer and said he was pleased with the way the company has stepped up to the challenge.

Pfizer, in December, became the first pharmaceutical firm to get approval for their vaccine against COVID-19.

Mike McDermott, Pfizer’s president of global supply, says the drugmaker is ‘expanding everywhere possible’ to make more doses of COVID-19 vaccine

A patient is seen receiving the Pfizer vaccination in Los Angeles on Saturday

People wait in the observation area after their COVID-19 shot in Pomona, California, on Sunday

Pfizer’s drug, made with its German partner BioNTech, was approved first by Britain, followed by the United States, Europe and other countries.

Pfizer makes the vaccine’s main component – a piece of genetic code called messenger RNA or mRNA for short. 

It uses other companies called contract manufacturers to make the vaccine’s protective shell and to fill, inspect and package vials.

‘There is a dire need to vaccinate more people quickly,’ McDermott told AP. 

‘We are expanding our capacity to make more vaccine as quickly as possible. We are making process improvements, adding more manufacturing lines within the Pfizer and BioNTech facilities, expanding use of contract manufacturers and adding more suppliers.’

McDermott said a large part of their success in scaling up vaccine production came from ‘getting more productivity from our existing lines.’ 

He said: ‘We look at reducing wait times when changing over between batches, doubling of our batch size, increasing yields per batch. 

‘We’re reducing cycle times, from the start of manufacturing to shipping.’

Their main U.S. plant, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has increased the number of production lines from one to four and the number of shifts from one to three shifts.

‘We are expanding everywhere possible. We haven’t taken a day off since October,’ he said.

McDermott said that Pfizer was confident they could cope with mutations in the virus.

Concerns exist that new variants, found initially in South Africa, Brazil and the United Kingdom, could be resistant to the vaccine.

But McDermott said that he felt their technology made adapting the vaccine relatively straightforward.

‘Our mRNA platform technology is the perfect science to be able to make modifications quickly,’ he said. 

‘In essence there would be no changes to the manufacturing network. That altered genetic material would come into the system – and production would begin immediately on a new vaccine version.’

Source: Read Full Article