Pfizer and BioNTech have hustled to produce as many COVID-19 vaccine doses as possible this year, and that effort keeps paying off. After jacking up their dose-delivery goal to 2 billion earlier this year, the companies are adding hundreds of millions of doses to their target.
The companies now aim to produce 2.5 billion doses of their Comirnaty vaccine in 2021, BioNTech said Tuesday. Manufacturing “optimization,” plus a recent factory approval in Marburg, Germany—and regulatory approvals for the six-dose vial—are driving the increase, the company said.
And this may not be the last boost to that goal. Pfizer and BioNTech are expanding their production and supplier network, and additional talks are underway.
Meanwhile, under vaccine purchase orders the partners have inked for 2021, BioNTech stands to collect around €9.8 billion, the company said Tuesday.
During a Reuters interview earlier this month, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, Ph.D., said the company would “clearly” exceed its supply goal of 2 billion doses. At the time, he projected the partners could make 2.3 billion to 2.4 billion doses. Previously, the companies had said they’d manufacture 1.3 billion doses by year-end.
Like other COVID-19 vaccine players, BioNTech and Pfizer are working 24/7 to produce as many doses of their authorized vaccine as possible. The other mRNA vaccine company with an authorized shot, Moderna, has said it’s working to produce up to 1 billion doses this year.
Beyond mRNA, Johnson & Johnson has said it’s targeting 1 billion doses of its adenovirus-based shot for 2021, while Novavax and AstraZeneca are eying multibillion-dose outputs this year.
As of last week, Pfizer and BioNTech had supplied more than 200 million doses of the vaccine globally. The partners have taken 2021 purchase orders of 1.4 billion doses, and talks are underway for more potential purchases.
BioNTech, which was a clinical-stage biotech before its shot scored emergency authorizations, also posted its first sales last year. The company pulled in €270.5 million after the shot’s December FDA authorization.