Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) Increased Vaccines Production Target for 2021 to 3 Billion Doses To Meet Growing Demand

The global pressure on drugmakers producing COVID-19 vaccines was not anticipated but resulted from a series of events that include failure to ramp up production and Delta variant surge, leading to healthy equity advocates to question the unequal vaccine distribution among poor and rich countries. However, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) CEO Albert Bourla said the company acknowledges the need and doubled projected 2021 output.

Pfizer among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine approval 

Bourla said, “We changed, dramatically, our strategy. We had invested to produce 1.3 billion doses for 2021, when we realized the situation, we put way more investments into the system and we were able to raise the volumes to 3 billion for this year, and 4 billion for next year.”

Pfizer was the first pharma to receive authorization and full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in adults in the US. The company also has a booster shot approved for adults in the US. However, health equity advocates have questioned the action stating that these are doses that should be going to poorer nations.

Interestingly, Pfizer is developing a potential COVID-19 treatment. Bourla said, “I keep my fingers crossed that the studies will be positive, and I hope we’ll be able to know if the studies are positive before the end of the year.”

Pfizer is ramping production to help developing countries 

Bourla explained that the company had to increase production after its vaccine became safe and effective as demand increased. He said that the company had invested in manufacturing $1.3 billion doses this year, increasing next year.

He said, “More than 40%, actually, of these quantities will go to middle and low-income countries by the end of the year, not in next year– in two months.”

The company plans to open a production hub with Biovac Institute, South Africa, which will be operational by next year. However, for the near term donating doses to developing countries from the US remains feasible.