Increased coronavirus vaccine production at Puurs to have ‘significant and immediate impact’
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Increased coronavirus vaccine production at Puurs to have ‘significant and immediate impact’

A production line at Pfizer Puurs Credit: Pfizer

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light for the manufacturing capacity of BioNTech/Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines to be expanded at the Puurs site in Belgium.

EMA’s decision concluded that the site in the province of Antwerp is capable of consistently producing “high-quality vaccines” based on the review of the data submitted by BioNTech, “enabling an increase in the volumes of vaccines produced at this site.”

“The recommendation by the Agency’s Committee for Human Medicines (CHMP) is expected to have a significant and immediate impact on the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, in the European Union,” an EMA statement read.

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As a result of this decision, Pfizer has said it will be hiring another 100 employees, in addition to 200 new staff members it hired between January and May.

This uptake in production capacity will help in Pfizer’s efforts to deliver more than 2.5 billion doses in 2021 and possibly more in 2022, Pfizer responded, according to reports from VRT News.

The vaccine, which had initially been approved by EMA for use for people starting from 16 years old, was given the green light by the European Commission to be administered to children aged 12 and over, making it the first vaccine to be approved for this age group.