Pfizer CEO confident vaccine supply will exceed needs by end of 2021

Pfizer chief executive, Albert Bourla, said on Wednesday from Athens he was confident that by the end of 2021 there would be more vaccine doses than required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

His remarks came after Britain approved a vaccine produced by Pfizer and its German biotechnology partner BioNTech. The two companies say their vaccine is 95 per cent effective.

Pfizer chief Albert Bourla says the company will ramp up its manufacturing capacity to meet demand.
Pfizer chief Albert Bourla says the company will ramp up its manufacturing capacity to meet demand.Credit:AP

“I feel very comfortable that by the end of 2021 we’ll have more doses than we will need,” Bourla told a virtual conference hosted in Athens.

“We are doing everything we can to increase the manufacturing capacity … but the challenge is that we need to increase it in the next few months.”


The British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted emergency use approval just 23 days after Pfizer published the first data from its final-stage clinical trial. The vaccine is due to be rolled out next week in Britain.

US and EU regulators are sifting through the same Pfizer vaccine trial data, but have yet to give their approval. The Australian government has signed a deal to buy 10 million doses of the vaccine for Australia.

On Wednesday evening, Australia Health Minister Greg Hunt welcomed the emergency approval for the vaccine in the UK.

He has spoken with the Australian chief executive officer of Pfizer and the company remained on track for vaccine delivery “once it was approved for use in Australia by an independent regulator.”

“Pfizer continues to work with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, providing data for safety and efficacy as part of the approval process,” Mr Hunt’s statement read. “Our advice remains that the timeline for a decision on approval is expected by the end of January 2021, and our planning is for the first vaccine delivery in March 2021.”

Bourla said governments need to ensure that other measures are not relaxed in the meantime. “I think that it is important to use the vaccine as one tool,” he said, adding that “undeniably it’s going to be the most effective, with the most permanent impact.

“The time that we can go back to normality is not far away, but definitely it is not now,” he said.

Bourla, who is Greek, told a roundtable discussion of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, which included Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that the distribution strategy of governments was key.

Governments “have to move in a very strategic way and they need to listen to the experts,” Bourla said.

Pfizer shares are up more than 3 per cent in late trade on Wall Street.

More to come


Business Briefing

Start the day with major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion from our leading business journalists delivered to your inbox. Sign up for the Herald‘s here and The Age‘s here.

Most Viewed in Business

Source: Thanks