Covid vaccine developers Pfizer and Moderna are planning to boost supply of their respective vaccines to fight against coronavirus.
Pfizer plans to increase the weekly shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine to more than 13 million doses, while Moderna is aiming to supply 40 million doses monthly.
According to Pfizer, the latest improvements reflect FDA’s recent approval of a 6-dose label for each vial, the doubling of its batch sizes, increased yields per batch, and reduced cycle times, as well as deployment of faster laboratory tests to reduce release times.
In a written testimony before a House subcommittee, Pfizer’s Chief Business Officer John Young said the company expects to increase the number of doses it makes available for shipment to more than 13 million doses per week by the middle of March. This is compared to around 4 to 5 million doses per week at the beginning of February.
Pfizer said it is on track to make 120 million doses available for shipment by the end of March and an additional 80 million doses by the end of May. And, the company anticipates that all 300 million contracted doses will be available for shipment by the end of July, enabling the vaccination of up to 150 million Americans.
Pfizer vaccine, which showed vaccine efficacy of 95 percent in trials, was the first to be granted emergency use authorization by the FDA. The company has ramped up production of doses, and has increased projected 2021 global production to at least 2 billion doses from 1.3 billion doses.
As of February 17, Pfizer has shipped approximately 40 million doses to points of use as directed by the U.S. government. No serious safety concerns have been identified that have changed the favorable risk-benefit profile of the vaccine to date, Young said.
Further, Moderna’s President Stephen Hoge, in his testimony before the Committee, said the company doubled its monthly deliveries since late 2020, and are aiming to double them again by April to more than 40 million doses per month.
By the end of 2020, Moderna delivered 17.8 million doses to the federal government. So far, the company has delivered 45 million doses of its Covid vaccine, which showed a 94 percent efficacy rate and received FDA’s EUA in last December.
Tens of millions more doses are at different stages of the production process. The company is on track to meet its commitment to deliver 100 million doses by the end of March.
Based on the progress scaling up manufacturing, Moderna said it recently agreed to move up its delivery timeline, and is now aiming to deliver a second hundred million doses by the end of May and a third hundred million doses by the end of July.