As Pfizer and its German biotech partner BioNTech progress with a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the companies are preparing for the prospect of delivering an approved vaccine at scale.
Pfizer anticipates that it could produce up to 100 million doses in the remainder of 2020 and an additional 1.3 billion next year.
The companies also recently announced that they would begin a rolling submission of their BNT162b2 vaccine to the European Medicines Agency.
In the U.S., Pfizer has created a staging ground with 350 large freezers in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that can handle millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“It’s the biggest-ever vaccination campaign,” Tanya Alcorn, Pfizer’s supply-chain vice president, told WSJ.
Officials at the drug giant hope to determine by the end of this month whether its BNT162b2 vaccine is effective. If so, the company could apply for emergency-use authorization for the vaccine by the end of November.
In addition to the refrigerated storage site in Kalamazoo, Pfizer is scaling up a European site in Puurs, Belgium. The company is also beefing up distribution centers in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and Karlsruhe, Germany.
Earlier this year, the company decided to expand its use of outsourcing to sharpen its focus on vaccine development.
To date, Pfizer has invested roughly $2 billion in its vaccine program. The reconfiguration of its Kalamazoo facility alone cost some $87 million, according to the Detroit News.