Shares of Pfizer and BioNTech fell 1.74% and 2% (respectively) on Thursday amid news that companies will deliver half of their planned number of vaccines against COVID-19 in 2020.
On November 20, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech applied to the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for permission to use their vaccine in an emergency. The permit is expected to be obtained in mid-December.
The companies have signed government contracts to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine worth $ 1.9 billion to US government agencies and the European Union to supply up to 300 million doses.
In recent weeks, Pfizer has shared its plans to produce 50 million doses of the vaccine this year, less than its previous plans of 100 million doses. Pfizer vaccine should be applied in two doses, i.e. 50 million are designed to vaccinate 25 million people.
At the same time, Pfizer has said it still plans to deliver up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021, its full-scale production lines in the US and Europe (Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Puurs, Belgium) are now complete. They are sure they will be able to deliver the planned number of doses.
Shares of rival Moderna, which applied to the FDA to use its vaccine 10 days later (November 30), rose sharply by almost 10% on Thursday.
According to a Wall Street Journal report on Thursday, an anonymous Pfizer spokesman who was directly involved in the development of the vaccine said that “some early batches of raw materials did not meet the standard,” leading to production delays, and “expanding the supply chain took longer than expected. ”
Among the reasons for the delay in vaccine production this year were also the results of clinical trials of Pfizer.
On Thursday, the stock market ended in different directions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.29%, the S&P 500 fell 0.06% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.23%.
On Wednesday, the United Kingdom became the first country to allow the use of the Pfizer vaccine. The Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom Alok Sharma said that the country expects to receive the first supply of vaccines in the amount of 800 thousand and hopes for several million doses by the end of the year.
However, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson warned of “huge logistical problems”, as the Pfizer vaccine requires transportation and storage at ultra-low temperatures of -34.4 ° C, otherwise the shelf life is reduced by almost half.
Conditions of storage and transportation of Moderna vaccine are simpler, as they assume a permissible temperature range from -7.7 ° C to -2.2 ° C, which simplifies its distribution.
On Thursday, Moderna said that after obtaining FDA approval, it plans to deliver 100 million to 125 million doses of its vaccine against COVID-19 worldwide in the first quarter of 2021. 85-100 million will be available in the United States and 15-25 million – in other countries.
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