BERLIN (Reuters) – BioNTech is working flat out with partner Pfizer to boost production of their COVID-19 vaccine, its founders said, warning there would be gaps in supply until other vaccines were rolled out.
The German biotech startup has led the vaccine race but its shot has been slow to arrive in the European Union because of relatively late approval from the bloc’s health regulator and the small size of the order placed by Brussels.
The delays in rolling out the home-grown vaccine have caused consternation in Germany, where some regions had to halt vaccinations within days of starting an inoculation drive.
“At the moment it doesn’t look good – a hole is appearing because there’s a lack of other approved vaccines and we have to fill the gap with our own vaccine,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told news weekly Spiegel.
Sahin founded BioNTech with his wife, Oezlem Tuereci, who is the company’s chief medical officer. Both faulted the EU’s decision to spread orders in the expectation that more vaccines would be approved quickly. Reuters News