By Carl O’Donnell
(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE 🙂 shipment of COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico this week includes doses made at its US plant, the first of what is expected to be ongoing exports of its injections from the United States, one said. source familiar with the matter. Reuters on Thursday.
The vaccine shipment, produced at Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Michigan plant, marks the first time the drugmaker has delivered overseas from U.S. facilities after a Trump-era restriction on dose exports expired in late March. the source said.
The US government has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to provide surplus vaccines to other nations in desperate need, as it rapidly advances in vaccinating its own residents. Many countries where the virus is still widespread are struggling to acquire vaccine supplies to help control the pandemic.
Rich governments have been trying to stock up on COVID-19 injections from Pfizer and Modern (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc due to their extremely high efficacy and, after safety concerns and production issues, temporarily shelved the AstraZeneca (NASDAQ 🙂 Plc and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE 🙂 vaccines.
Pfizer has shipped more than 10 million doses to Mexico so far, becoming its largest supplier of COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ 🙂 have been supplying doses to other countries from their main European production facility in Belgium.
The Mexican Ministry of Health said it is receiving 2 million doses of Pfizer this week. He has received more than a million doses from Belgium since Wednesday and expects about another million this week. Reuters could not confirm whether all the remaining doses of Pfizer would come from Michigan.
Pfizer will use additional capacity at its US facility to deliver injections overseas while continuing to fulfill its commitment to supply the United States, the source said, adding that the drugmaker will also ship from Belgium.
Pfizer has said it will make up to 25 million injections per week in the United States by mid-year, which is more than it needs to meet its commitment to deliver 300 million doses to the United States by the end of July.
The company expects to produce up to 2.5 billion doses of vaccines in 2021 and already has agreements to supply more than one billion to governments around the world.
An agreement Pfizer signed with the White House last year prohibited it from shipping US-made doses to other countries until after March 31, according to the source and a US official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak. . to the press.
The U.S. vaccination campaign has been among the fastest and most successful in the world, with nearly 240 million vaccines administered to more than 140 million residents so far, according to federal data updated Thursday.
The White House said Monday it would export up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine that have been manufactured in a U.S. facility to countries in need.
Authorities said Monday that the United States no longer anticipates the need for the AstraZeneca vaccine to meet its goal of having enough vaccines for all Americans by the summer.
The US government said on Sunday it would immediately send COVID-19 vaccine raw materials, medical equipment and protective equipment to India, which has become the latest epicenter of the pandemic with its healthcare system on the brink of collapse. It has not yet promised completed vaccine shipments to India.
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