Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) plan to produce 2 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine this year, instead of 1.3 billion doses initially planned, to meet the increasing global demand.
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More than half the above production has already been signed by the two pharmaceutical companies, according to a presentation by BioNTech which took place on Monday.
The company also announced that with the increase in production which will now be available, BioNTech (BNTX) would introduce another change to the vaccine vial label, which allows physicians to extract six doses instead of five from each vial.
As part of the production increase, the company will also open a new manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany that will be operational by the end of February, with an annual production capacity of up to 750 million doses, according to a presentation given by BioNTech.
Furthermore, the pharmaceutical manufacturer announced that it was working diligently to expedite the increasing contributions of suppliers and employees involved in the manufacturing process.
This announcement comes when Europe faces the new and fastest-spreading coronavirus strain initially found in the UK. The European Union has already struck a new deal with Pfizer and BioNTech, allowing it to double the number of vaccines up to 600 million doses.
Pfizer (PFE) / BioNTech (BNTX) move is also expected to help meet greater demand from the US shortly. The President-elect, Joe Biden, has vowed to immediately distribute vaccines upon taking office, to counteract the global epidemic in his country. Half of the existing doses of the required vaccine held back to ensure that those who have already received the vaccination get the second dose of the vaccination in the US.