Pfizer to briefly scale back Covid vaccine deliveries to Europe

Close-up of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination bottle.

Hugh Hastings | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON – Pfizer will temporarily reduce the number of doses of its coronavirus vaccine shipped to Europe, according to the Norwegian Institute for Public Health.

The agency said in a statement released Friday that shipments of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine would be reduced from next week “and for an upcoming period”.

According to a translation of the statement, NIPH received a message from Pfizer “shortly before 10 am” on Friday.

“In week 3, Pfizer predicted 43,875 doses of vaccine. Now we appear to be receiving 36,075 doses,” the statement said. A Pfizer spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

The temporary reduction in deliveries is “in connection with an upgrade of production capacity”. “The temporary reduction will affect all European countries,” he added.

Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday that he was confident of “dramatically increasing” production of the vaccine this year, with the goal of producing up to 2 billion doses.

Bourla also said that Pfizer currently has more doses of its vaccine available than are being used.

The European Union announced last week that it was doubling its inventory of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said the deal would allow the EU to buy an additional 300 million cans on top of its existing inventory. The EU executive has already been criticized for not buying more of the vaccine.

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