Pfizer temporarily supplies fewer vaccines, consequences not yet known | NOW

Pharmaceutical Pfizer will temporarily deliver fewer doses of the corona vaccine in late January and early February. This is because the labels have to be adjusted and especially because the factory in Puurs, Belgium, is being expanded. It is not yet known what consequences this will have for the Dutch vaccination strategy.

The adjustments to the labels and the upscaling of production capacity will ultimately yield more than the 2.2 million vaccines that were already provided for the Netherlands in the first quarter, says a spokesman for the Dutch branch.

Permission was recently given to state on the label that not five, but six doses could be obtained from one vial, something that had already been shown here and there in practice. That ultimately results in a lot more injections.

It is not yet possible to say exactly what the expansion of the factory will bring, according to Pfizer. “As part of normal productivity improvements to increase capacity, we need to make changes to the manufacturing process and facility that require additional regulatory approvals,” said the spokesman.

He expects there will be a “significant increase in available doses” by the end of February or early March. “Pfizer is working hard to deliver more doses than originally predicted this year, with a new target of two billion doses worldwide by 2021,” the spokesman continues. The goal for this year was previously 1.3 billion doses.

The consequences for the Netherlands are unknown

The RIVM does not yet know what the temporary dip in the supply of the Pfizer vaccine means for the vaccination strategy. The Ministry of Health does not currently know whether and what consequences this will have for the Netherlands. This is discussed with Pfizer.

“We have only just heard it ourselves,” said the RIVM spokesperson. “What we need to know is exactly how much less can be delivered. Then we can see what effect that will have on the planning.” It is not yet clear when RIVM can say more about it.


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