BioNTech Sees Potential to Supply 3 Billion Doses in 2022

Epigraph:

Every human life is precious and sacred. One who saves a life it is as if he or she has saved the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)

By Naomi Kresge and Matthew Miller March 9, 2021, 4:13 PM EST Updated on 

  •  CEO Sahin says lifting vaccine production depends on demand
  •  Company already in discussion about Covid booster shots

BioNTech SE could have capacity to make 3 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine with U.S. partner Pfizer Inc. next year, the German company’s chief executive officer said, making their pioneering shot far more widely available around the world.ADVERTISING

“In principle, we could further increase manufacturing capacity,” Ugur Sahin said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “It depends on demand, it depends on factors such as if an additional boost to vaccinations is required.”

Demand is growing around the world for Covid vaccines that countries desperately need to breathe back life into economies, return children to schools and get people back into offices and shops. Both the U.S. and Europe have sought to accelerate vaccine deliveries this year as new, more aggressive variants of the virus spread.

“We have an order book of already 1.3 billion orders, which is already fixed,” Sahin said. “We are discussing additional doses — hundreds of millions of doses as options — with government organizations.”

BioNTech shares rose as much as 1.3% early Wednesday in Frankfurt.

The two companies have committed to make 2 billion doses of their two-shot vaccine this year. Pfizer promised to ship two-thirds of the U.S.’s 300 million-dose order by the end of May. In the European Union, the partners have promised to ship at least 500 million doses this year, with an option for an additional 100 million doses.

Pfizer has projected about $15 billion in revenue this year from Covid vaccine sales, and CEO Albert Bourla said the price of the shot may increase.

Mutant Strains

Concerns about mutated versions of the virus may also drive demand if new variants evolve with the ability to evade current inoculations. BioNTech is already discussing potential orders for boosters, Sahin said.

BioNTech and Pfizer have begun laying the groundwork for a booster shot of their vaccine, which uses a new technology called messenger RNA. One trial, begun in February, is examining the safety and immune response of a third dose of the vaccine in people who took part in an early study of the shot last year. The partners have also said they’re planning a human test of a new vaccine that’s specific to a particularly problematic vaccine variant that emerged late last year in South Africa.

“We now understand the evolution of the virus can result in new variants that come with new biological and medical features,” Sahin said. “The whole world was not prepared for this pandemic, and we now understand that this could happen again.”

In lab studies using blood of people who’ve been inoculated, the existing form of the vaccine seems to be less effective against the South Africa strain than against other mutant versions of the coronavirus. While the vaccine still appears to offer some protection, the implications of the variants remain unclear.The latest Covid updatesMake sense of the headlines and the outbreak’s global response with the Coronavirus Daily.EmailSign UpBy submitting my information, I agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and to receive offers and promotions from Bloomberg.

The companies will gain more data on the South Africa variant within six to eight weeks, Sahin said.

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Categories: Vaccine

3 replies

  1. The leaders of the US, Australia, India and Japan have agreed to deliver one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine to much of Asia by the end of 2022.

    The joint commitment was made following the first leaders’ meeting of the so-called Quad – a group formed in 2007.

    The vaccines – expected to be the single-dose Johnson & Johnson product – are set to be manufactured in India.

    The US said the “massive joint commitment” would initially focus on delivering doses to South East Asia.

    “With Indian manufacturing, US technology, Japanese and American financing and Australian logistics… [we] committed to delivering up to one billion doses,” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said shortly after the virtual summit on Friday.

    He said the vaccines would go to the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) as well as “the Pacific and beyond”.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-56381104

  2. Medical experts in the United States are trying to assuage fears that Covid-19 vaccines may be unsafe after several European countries suspended AstraZeneca’s shot following reports of blood clots among some recipients.

    On Tuesday, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania became the latest countries to join a growing list of nations suspending the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot over blood clot concerns. Germany, France, Italy and Spain all said on Monday said they would also stop administering the shot.

    The European Medicines Agency, which evaluates drug safety for the EU, called a meeting Thursday to review the findings. So far, it’s maintained that the benefits of the shot when it comes to preventing hospitalizations and deaths still “outweigh the risks of side effects.” The World Health Organization agreed, urging countries on Wednesday to continue using AstraZeneca’s shots.

    Without the results from the European Medicines Agency’s forthcoming meeting, it’s hard to say whether the vaccines are causing the reported blood clots, medical experts in the U.S. told CNBC, but the pharmaceutical giant already has a public relations mess on its hands. Some doctors in the U.S. are worried that the European nations are prematurely responding to political pressure and safety fears, and it will take extensive efforts to rebuild trust in the vaccine if allowed back online.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/17/us-health-experts-try-to-ease-covid-vaccine-fears-as-astrazenecas-shot-faces-concerns-in-europe-.html

  3. Pfizer said Thursday its Covid-19 vaccine blocked 94% of asymptomatic infections in an Israeli study — a result CEO Albert Bourla called “extremely important.”

    The study, which measured results two weeks after the second dose, also found the vaccine was at least 97% effective against symptomatic Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths, according to Pfizer, which developed the shot with BioNTech.

    The analysis used data collected between Jan. 17 and March 6, when Pfizer’s vaccine was the only available shot in the country and when the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant from the U.K. was the dominant strain.

    “This is extremely important … for society,” Bourla said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “The asymptomatic carriers and patients are the ones spreading the disease mainly. We were expecting something good in terms of symptomatic,” he said, adding the company was not expecting such a “high number” against asymptomatic cases.

    An asymptomatic person is someone who has Covid-19 but doesn’t have any symptoms and never develops them. It’s not the same as a pre-symptomatic patient who later goes on to develop symptoms. At least 50% of transmission is estimated to have occurred from people who don’t have symptoms, according to a study in JAMA published in January.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/11/pfizer-covid-vaccine-blocks-94percent-of-asymptomatic-infections-and-97percent-of-symptomatic-cases-in-israeli-study.html?recirc=taboolainternal

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