Drug manufacturer Pfizer will temporarily cut deliveries of its Covid-19 vaccine to Europe so it can upgrade production capacity from 1.3 billion doses a year to 2 billion, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) has said.
The FHI said on Friday that the 43,875 doses it was due to receive from Pfizer next week will be cut to 36,075.
“This temporary reduction will affect all European countries. It is as yet not precisely clear how long… it will take before Pfizer is up to maximum production capacity again,” the FHI said in a statement.
The FHI said it had kept some reserve stocks of the Pfizer vaccine and that it will be able to compensate for the lag in supply over the next few weeks if it needs to.
The Nordic country has immunized 42,000 people against coronavirus since December 27 when its vaccination program began, according to statistics from the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH).
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NIPH data also shows that, as of Thursday, there were still 12 Norwegian municipalities where less than 10 people had received the shot, including a handful of areas with no vaccinations at all.
In Norway, 517 people have died from Covid-19, while there have been 57,734 cases, according to FHI data.
Deputy head of the Irish government Leo Varadkar said he had heard that Pfizer was “slowing down” its supplies of the vaccine in Europe, but stressed that it is “not something under our control” and that he did not know if it would affect Ireland.
“We’re geared up to be a position where we can make sure that as soon as we get delivery of a vaccine that it’s in the arms of people and patients,” he said.
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