Pfizer plans to release only half of the planned doses of the vaccine due to supply chain issues. Fox News reports this.
“Expanding the supply chain of raw materials for the vaccine took longer than expected. It is also important to emphasize that the results of the clinical trials were later than originally planned,” a company spokeswoman said.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE had hoped to produce one hundred million vaccines by the end of the year, but now the number of planned doses has been halved to 50 million.
Pfizer receives raw materials from suppliers in the United States and Europe. Expansion in the production of components for the vaccine in the past month has proved to be difficult. At that time, the company was waiting for the results of the drug’s trials, the article says.
The company did not specify which components are missing for production. Vaccines usually contain materials that include antiviral agents, antiseptic fluids, sterile water, and elements of the virus’s own DNA that do not cause serious symptoms but trigger the immune system to produce antibodies.
Usually, companies first wait for their product to be approved, and only then start purchasing raw materials, organizing production lines, and establishing supply chains, the newspaper writes.
“In this case, everything happened at the same time. We started forming supply chains in March when the vaccine was still being developed. This is completely unprecedented,” said a person familiar with Pfizer’s vaccine development process.
Pfizer and BioNtech currently plan to release 1.3 billion vaccines in 2021, and the 50 million-dose shortfall this year will be covered as production ramps up.