Infectious Disease

Pharmaceutical executives decide to growing COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

February 23, 2021

3 min read

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Disclosure:
DeGette and Griffith do not report any relevant financial information. Dobber, Hoge, Nettles, Trizzino and Young are employed by the pharmaceutical companies they represent.

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Pharmaceutical executives from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax testified Tuesday that they are on track to deliver a total of 1.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the US by the end of July.

Executives answered questions from a House Energy & Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations. Their testimony came as the pace of US vaccine adoption continued to pick up after a slow start.

John Trizzino, Executive Vice President of Novavax, will give a brief presentation on how the Novavax vaccine works against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 as well as against variants.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Chairman of the subcommittee, interviewed each of the executives on previous statements regarding each company’s obligation to dispense cans.

Pfizer, who co-developed the first US-approved COVID-19 vaccine, has promised to provide the US with 300 million doses by July. It had provided 40 million doses by last week, DeGette said.

Asked DeGette John Young, Pfizer’s Chief Business Officer, when he believes Pfizer can meet the July deadline in the circumstances.

“We initially had some issues with the initial ramp-up of our vaccine,” said Young. “We just developed a manufacturing process for a vaccine product that we’ve never made before. We’ve seen some rate-limiting moves on raw materials in particular, but we assume we’re on the right track to deliver those 300 million cans before the end of July. “

Moderna, which also agreed to provide 300 million doses to the federal government by the end of July, has provided 45 million doses since its vaccine was approved in December, DeGette said.

However, in the last week, the company shipped 9 million cans, the Moderna President Stephen Hoge, MD, says, puts the company on track to ship approximately 40 million to 50 million cans per month and ensure delivery of 300 million cans by the end of July.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are given in two doses. According to experts, Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, which the FDA is considering this week, could transform the vaccine landscape in the US. Johnson & Johnson Vice President, US Medical Affairs Richard Nettles, MDThe company is still on track to deliver 100 million cans by the end of June.

According to DeGette, a Johnson & Johnson board member said this could be accomplished even sooner, possibly by the end of April.

Ruud Hover, PhDThe company, which leads AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceuticals business, said it was ready to ship 30 million doses of its two-shot vaccine immediately after approval for the emergency in the U.S. 50 million by the end of this month.

“After that, we will have an output of around 15 to 25 million cans per month,” said Dobber. “So, [rest] We are assured that we are on the right track to meet the 300 million can pledge. It will take time and as we work to improve our production it will take time but we are very comfortable that we will be delivering the 300 million soon after. “

Novavax, which has a contract with the federal government for 100 million doses of its two-shot vaccine, recently said it could potentially produce 150 million doses a month by May or June, DeGette said. Subject to EUA approval Novavax Executive Vice President John Trizzino said Tuesday that the company is ready to ship 100 million cans by the end of June.

Currently, the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for people under the age of 18. You can get it when you are 16 years of age or older. However, manufacturers have started stepping up testing in children.

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) Noted that pledges made Tuesday would give the US more doses of vaccine than it needs, given that only about 260 million people in the US are eligible for vaccination.

“While we will likely need additional doses for the next year because most scientists believe we will need them [another dose] – It’s going to be like the flu, you have to take the vaccine pretty regularly – we may actually have enough vaccine … so we have an excess, “Griffith said.

Hoge said any excess Moderna vaccines could be made available to other countries.

“I hope and really believe that there will be a surplus when everyone can deliver, and I also hope that we can make these cans available to other parts of the world, including the COVAX facility,” said Dobber of AstraZeneca. said. “There is a great need to vaccinate people in low and middle income countries too. So it’s a clear promise to the U.S. government, as well as the other companies here today, to make sure these people get vaccinated sooner rather than later. “

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