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Pfizer Expects to Deliver Covid Vaccines Quicker Than Expected

A label change will allow Pfizer to squeeze 20 million more doses from its supply than originally thought.
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Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report will be able to supply the U.S. with 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses ahead of schedule, according to CEO Albert Bourla.

Bourla said Pfizer and its partner BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report will be able to deliver more doses to the U.S and European Union before the end of the second quarter, thanks to a change in the vaccine's label that allows healthcare workers to extract an additional dose from each vial.  

Pfizer and BioNTech now plan to deliver 120 million doses to the U.S. in the first quarter, 20 million more than initially promised, Bourla said in an interview with Bloomberg at the Year Ahead Summit. 

The two companies said they plan to produce 2 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021, a 50% increase from estimates given in 2020. 

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While the company also plans to ramp up production with the help of additional contract manufacturers, the new target also takes into account the label change.

Bourla's comments come on the same day that rival drugmaker Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report said it was on track to deliver on its commitment of about 100 million doses to the U.S. government by the end of the first quarter.

Moderna said it has supplied the U.S. government with 30.4 million doses to date, with about 10.1 million doses having been administered by the government so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company also expects to deliver 200 million doses total by the end of the second quarter. The U.S. government has agreed to purchase 200 million doses from the company, with options for the purchase of 300 million additional doses.