Advertisement

Pfizer cuts COVID-19 vaccine delivery by half for 2020 due to supply chain issues

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Gov. Cuomo touts COVID-19 vaccine as ‘the weapon that is going to win the war’' Coronavirus: Gov. Cuomo touts COVID-19 vaccine as ‘the weapon that is going to win the war’
WATCH: "This is the weapon that is going to win the war," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Thursday, as he showed off a container and vials like the ones that will transport the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to the state when it is approved. – Dec 3, 2020

Pfizer has confirmed to Global News that it will be distributing half the amount of COVID-19 vaccines that it had originally proposed for 2020 due to supply chain issues.

In an emailed statement to Global News, the pharmaceutical company confirmed what was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, that it will be delivering up to 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 worldwide, down from the 100 million doses previously promised.

Read more: Canada’s review of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine will be completed ‘soon,’ health minister says

“Based on current projections we expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021,” Pfizer said in a statement.

Pfizer said there are two reasons the number of doses expected has changed.

Story continues below advertisement

“For one, scaling up a vaccine at this pace is unprecedented, and we have made significant progress as we have moved forwards in the unknown,” the company said.

“Additionally, scale up of the raw material supply chain took longer than expected.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canadian officials expect Pfizer vaccine ‘likely’ to arrive first' Coronavirus: Canadian officials expect Pfizer vaccine ‘likely’ to arrive first
Coronavirus: Canadian officials expect Pfizer vaccine ‘likely’ to arrive first – Dec 3, 2020

Pfizer also noted that results of its clinical trial were received later than expected.

The company said finished doses are currently being made at a “rapid pace.”

“We are confident in our ability to supply at a pace of approximately 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021,” Pfizer said.

Pfizer had adjusted its supply outlook in 2020 from 100 million to 50 million in November in publicly available statements, but had promised up to 100 million doses as late as September.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Britain approves Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for use, 1st in world to do so

The vaccine has been found to be 95 per cent effective against COVID-19 in recent tests, and the United Kingdom became the first country to approve the vaccine on Wednesday.

Canada is set to receive up to four million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine between January and March 2021, and will finish its review of the vaccine “soon,” according to Health Minister Patty Hajdu.