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Pfizer Expanding Production of COVID-19 Vaccine by 10%

Pfizer CEO says company expects to have delivered 220 million doses by end of May.
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Pfizer Inc.’s  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report CEO says the company has ramped up production of its COVID-19 vaccine and can deliver 10% more doses to the U.S. than previously agreed by the end of May.

CEO Albert Bourla said in a tweet that the company now anticipates delivering 220 million doses of the vaccine it developed jointly with BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report by the end of next month, and all 300 million doses agreed on two weeks early, in July. Full vaccination requires two doses delivered several weeks apart.

The comments came as the U.S. FDA and CDC moved to pause use of a single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report because of concerns over extremely rare cases of blood clotting in some recipients.

In addition to only requiring a single shot, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easier to transport and store because it requires regular refrigeration vs. much colder storage needed for the Pfizer and Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report vaccines.

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As of Tuesday, nearly half of U.S. residents over the age of 18 had received at least one dose, and nearly 30% were fully vaccinated according to CDC data. Nearly 560,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic emerged at the beginning of 2020. 

Shares of Pfizer rose 1 cent, or 0.01%, to $37.17 in after-hours trading. The stock gained 0.5% in the regular session. 

Johnson & Johnson shares fell 29 cents, or 0.2%, to $159.19 in after-hours trading. The stock lost 1.3% in the regular session. 

The broader markets largely shrugged off concerns that the J&J vaccine pause could slow the reopening of the U.S. economy. The S&P 500 finished the day at a record close, while the Nasdaq jumped 1%.