There has been a lot of optimism regarding the development and rollout over a potential Covid-19 vaccine, with biotech companies all over the world racing to finalize trials and begin production on a wider scale. Pfizer’s efforts are currently some of the farthest ahead, as the company claims that their vaccine has a 95% effectiveness, and it has already been approved by the United Kingdom for emergency usage. However, the company has scaled back its 2020 production target by a considerable amount.
Back in September, Pfizer stated that their goal was to produce 100 million vaccine doses in 2020. However, the company has now updated that number to just 50 million, cutting their target in half. In their statement on Thursday, Pfizer said that there were numerous factors that made them need to cut their target, including the sheer amount of time it took to secure the raw materials needed to produce it. However, the company did say that its manufacturing has been brought up to scale in both the U.S. and Europe. As such, they are now confident that they can deliver 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Moderna, which is also developing a vaccine similar to Pfizer’s, said that they would expect to have between 100 and 125 million doses ready by the first quarter of 2021. Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer Gus Perna said that the U.S. expects to have 40 million vaccine doses distributed by the end of the year, which will be enough for 20 million people. However, there are still concerns over potential delays that could be caused by hiccups in the manufacturing process, along with possible attempts by criminal elements to disrupt or sabotage the shipping of vaccines across the world.