US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer disclosed that it had commenced the manufacturing of hundreds of thousands of doses of its COVID-19 vaccines. At the same time, it awaits emergency approval of its vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US agency tasked with granting such approvals.
The company said researchers have also produced drugs that have the capacity to cure COVID-19 completely and not just act as a preventative measure against the disease. It said it was moving ahead with more production when safety data is available in the third week of November.
The Daily Mail in the UK released a video that showed Pfizer’s manufacturing plants in Purrs, Belgium, churning out thousands of the vaccines from the production line.
The drug manufacturer said it would file for emergency use authorization from the FDA two weeks after the November 3 US presidential elections, killing hopes that the Trump administration would have an achievement to head into the polls with.
The company has already forecasted production numbers. It hopes to make 100 million doses available before the end of the year and about 1.3 billion doses available in 2021. Every recipient of the vaccine will need two doses of it.
The UK head of Pfizer, Ben Osborne, said he was happy to see the vaccine become a reality finally.
“It was great to see the first vial coming off the manufacturing line. It just brought a tremendous smile to my face to see all of this work actually result in a product.”
The US government is sponsoring research by the pharmaceutical company. In July, the government said it would pay almost $2 billion for the company to have ready by December 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Under the agreement, the company will yet deliver another round of 500 million doses of the vaccine.
The US is also working with Modern, another pharmaceutical company, in its Operation Warp Speed program. It is part of President Trump’s strategy in developing multiple COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. The program seeks to deliver 300 million doses of a workable COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.
As part of measures to authorize only safe and effective vaccines, the FDA has asked pharmaceuticals to spend two months monitoring for adverse side effects when conducting its tests on trial patients.