A source familiar with the case told Reuters on Thursday that Pfizer’s shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico this week includes factory-made doses, the first in the expected continued export of its shots from the United States.
The source said that the vaccine shipment, which was produced at the Pfizer plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is the first time that the pharmaceutical company has shipped overseas from US facilities after the export restrictions imposed under Trump. .
The United States government has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to distribute surplus vaccines to other countries that most need them as they are making rapid progress in vaccinating their populations. Many countries where the virus is still spreading are struggling to obtain a vaccine to fight the epidemic.
Rich governments have tried to preserve COVID-19 footage from Pfizer and Moderna Inc due to its extremely high efficacy and following concerns over safety and manufacturing issues, vaccines have been temporarily sidelined by AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson.
Pfizer has shipped more than 10 million doses to Mexico to date, making it the largest supplier of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are supplying other countries with doses from the main European plant in Belgium.
The Mexican Health Ministry said it received 2 million doses from Pfizer this week. It has received more than a million doses from Belgium since Wednesday and is expecting nearly a million additional doses this week. Reuters was unable to confirm whether all remaining Pfizer doses would come from Michigan.
The source said that Pfizer will use additional energy at its US facilities to deliver the shots abroad, while continuing to fulfill its promise to supply the United States, adding that the pharmaceutical company will also export shipments from Belgium.
Pfizer said it will deliver up to 25 million injections per week in the US by the middle of the year, more than is needed to fulfill its pledge to deliver 300 million doses to the US by the end of July.
The company expects to produce up to 2.5 billion doses of the vaccine by 2021 and already has agreements to deliver more than a billion to governments around the world.
A deal that Pfizer struck with the White House last year prevented the company from shipping US-made doses to other countries even after March 31, according to the source and a US official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak. . . To the press.
The US vaccination campaign is one of the fastest and most successful in the world, with nearly 240 million injections of more than 140 million residents so far, according to federal data updated Thursday.
The White House said Monday it will export up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, made in a US facility, to countries in need.
Officials said Monday that the United States no longer expects the need for an AstraZeneca vaccine to achieve its goal of getting adequate doses of all Americans by summer.
The US government said on Sunday that it will immediately ship raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, medical devices and protective equipment to India, which has become the latest epicenter of the pandemic with a health system on the verge of collapse. It has not yet committed to ship the vaccines to India.
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