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Increase in vaccine manufacturing capacity and supply for COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca, BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna

EMA's human medicines committee (CHMP) has adopted several important recommendations that will increase manufacturing capacity and supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the EU.

New manufacturing site for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine

A new manufacturing site has been approved for the production of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine active substance. The Halix site is located in Leiden, the Netherlands, and will bring the total number of manufacturing sites licensed for the production of the active substance of the vaccine to four.

New manufacturing site and more flexible storage conditions for BioNTech/Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

A new site has also been approved for the production of Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. The facility, which is in the German city of Marburg, will produce both active substance and the finished product. There are currently three active substance manufacturing sites supplying the EU included in the marketing authorisation.

In addition to the new manufacturing facility for this vaccine, the CHMP has also given a positive opinion to allow transportation and storage of vials of this vaccine at temperatures between -25 to -15˚C (i.e. the temperature of standard pharmaceutical freezers) for a one-off period of two weeks.

New manufacturing site and scaled-up processes for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

Already last week, the CHMP recommended approving the addition of a new manufacturing site for the production of active substance and finished product intermediates for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. The addition of the new manufacturing lines at the Lonza facility, located in Visp, Switzerland, together with other changes to the manufacturing processes that were greenlighted by the Committee are intended to scale-up production capacity and increase supply of the vaccine for the EU market.

COVID vaccine: EMA approves new production sites in Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland | DW News |

by Oui on Fri Mar 26th, 2021 at 06:11:40 PM EST
Britain nearing vaccine deal with European Union - The Times (via Reuters)

Britain is close to striking a vaccine deal with the European Union as soon as this weekend that will remove the threat of the bloc cutting off supplies, The Times reported on Saturday.

Under the agreement the EU will remove its threat to ban the export of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Britain, it added.

In return, the British government will garen to forgo some long-term supplies of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that had been due to be exported from a factory in Holland run by AstraZeneca's subcontractor Halix, the newspaper reported.


"We are only at the start of discussions with the UK. There are no talks over the weekend," an EU Commission source said on Saturday, adding that sending vaccines produced at Halix was not part of the talks.

A second EU source had previously said that the EU has no intention of sharing with Britain the vaccine substance from Halix, which is estimated to have already produced enough for about 15-20 million doses, and can produce the equivalent of 5 million shots per month.

Of course Mark Rutte is in the Tory pocket and would prefer to deal with London and not Brussels. However, the Dutch and Halix are bound by an export permit from the EU. Transparency, not the Rutte Doctrine.

by Oui on Sat Mar 27th, 2021 at 04:47:38 PM EST
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Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel, following the videoconference of the members of the European Council

by Oui on Sun Mar 28th, 2021 at 06:16:37 PM EST
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