The UK is set to face short-term delays in delivery of the Pfizer coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine as the pharmaceutical company upgrades its production capacity.
Pfizer is upscaling production at its plant in Puurs, Belgium. This is in an to produce more doses than originally planned for 2021 – temporarily reducing deliveries to all European countries. Shipments of the vaccine, produced in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, to the UK are set to be affected during January. But the overall number of doses due to be delivered between January and March will remain the same, according to the US firm.
In response, a spokesperson for the government said that it’s still working to its plan of vaccinating all four priority groups by 15 February.
The vaccine from Pfizer is not the only candidate available in the UK, with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca jab also currently being rolled out.
A Pfizer spokesperson said:
We understand a change to deliveries has the potential to create uncertainty. However, we can confirm the overall projected volumes of delivery to the UK remain the same for quarter one (January to March).
We continue to liaise with the UK Government and the Vaccines Taskforce to work through short-term impact of these changes to our January deliveries and support the goals of the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The UK has secured 40 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.
A government spokesperson said:
We are in the process of understanding the implications of Pfizer’s announcement today to our plans. However we continue to plan to hit our target of vaccinating all four priority groups by February 15.
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