Pfizer is now announcing that they will have a target of 50 million doses of their vaccine available by the end of the year. This after previously announcing a target of 100 million doses, which would have provided 50 million people with the vaccine. The new target means that 25 million people will be able to get the vaccine within the course of the month.
According to a spokeswoman for the company, “scaling up the raw material supply chain took longer than expected.” This refers to the overall supply chain and includes the fact that some supplies and raw materials may not have met the standards that the company was looking for. Though this has only been stated by an unnamed source to the Wall Street Journal.
The Spokeswoman has also stated that the company received clinical trial results later than they had expected, which also pushed back some of the expediency that the company had expected. They were finally able to request emergency authorization in November, just days after the election and are still waiting regulatory approval from the FDA. It is expected that they will be granted the emergency authorization within the next weeks and that the vaccine will begin to rollout shortly thereafter.
It is expected that the first allocation of doses will be approximately 6.4 million within the US and that this number will increase dramatically thereafter. This would be required in order for Pfizer to meet their second goal of 50 million doses by the end of the year, which gives them less than 30 days in which to make and distribute the large quantity. There is continued optimism that they will not be the only vaccine to be approved and distributed by the end of the year either.
In the UK the Pfizer vaccine has already been approved though it has not begun distribution quite yet. With any luck, the vaccine will begin to be distributed in both countries within a short period of time and will prove to be as successful at inoculating the rest of the world as it has been for those who have been part of the trial.
For now, all we can do is wait for the FDA to review the information they have been presented with from Pfizer as well as Moderna, and return a decision on whether the vaccines are safe and effective to be used by the general population.