The makers or Europe’s first approved coronavirus vaccine have said they are now trying to work out how to make more in the face of a huge demand for production.
“BioNTech hopes to be able to determine, by the end of January, the possibilities for increasing vaccine production,” head laboratory head Ugur Sahin said in an interview with the newspaper Der Spiegel.
BioNTech and the American company Pfizer are currently the only labs to have been granted marketing authorization in the European Union for their vaccine. The vaccination campaign began last weekend in all 27 EU countries. In Germany, however, some regional officials are complaining that the number of doses delivered is lower than expected.
“At the moment it doesn’t look good – a gap is appearing because there’s a lack of other approved vaccines and we have to fill the gap with our own vaccine,” he added.
Belgium began a trial run administering the vaccine in the last week of 2020. The vaccines were delivered on time, could be administered “fairly quickly” without wasting any doses, and those who were vaccinated did not experience any noticeable side effects, but several hitches remain.
Belgium’s official vaccine rollout will start on 5 January.