Tuesday is a “big” day for BioNTech and Pfizer. In Great Britain, the Mainz-based company and its US partner have received approval for the COVID-19 vaccine BNT162. This makes the British the first to benefit from the vaccine. The rollout should take place within a few days, BioNTech announced today in a press and investor conference. The vaccine cans, which have to be stored and transported at low temperatures, are currently being prepared at Pfizer’s Belgian production site for shipment to the other side of the English Channel.
BioNTech rejects criticism of the speed of the British approval decision. According to the board of the biotech company, the authorities had addressed the same questions about the vaccine and its production as other authorities. The decision was not pushed through. Various other approval decisions for BNT162 are imminent. In the USA, the FDA committee will meet on December 10, and in the EU too, the COVID-19 vaccine could be approved as early as mid-December. The fact that vaccine centers will be set up in parallel could ensure that the first major vaccination campaigns will take place as early as 2020 when the approval for the serum comes. The focus is initially on particularly endangered groups of people as well as people who are active in the health sector and in areas that maintain public life.
BioNTech boss Ugur Sahin reaffirms the expected production figures, which will increase massively in 2021 in particular. Then 1.3 billion cans will be produced. Large quantities of production for this year and next have already been reserved through firm purchase agreements with the USA, the EU and other countries, among others: 570 million of these cans through firm purchase agreements and around 600 million cans through option agreements. Two doses of vaccine must be given at the end of the vaccination. BioNTech emphasizes that not all cans will now migrate to Great Britain – the country will be partially considered like other regions, emphasizes BioNTech.