Pfizer to produce Covid vaccine component in Ireland

covid-vaccine
Pfizer To Produce Covid Vaccine Component In Ireland
A nurse holds a vial of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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Pfizer is to begin producing a key ingredient for its Covid-19 vaccine at an Irish facility for the first time, with the Grange Castle plant in west Dublin “contributing to the worldwide supply” of the jab.

The site will produce the mRNA drug substance used in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The pharmaceutical firm plans to invest up to approximately $40 million (€32 million) in Ireland and an additional 75 roles will be recruited.

Pfizer expects the facility will be brought onto the network by the end of 2021.

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Grange Castle is one of just a handful of Pfizer plants in Europe capable of producing biologics medicines, such as vaccines.

“This is a very significant moment for Ireland and for our Grange Castle site. We are immensely proud to be able to play a part in manufacturing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr Paul Duffy, vice-president, Pfizer Global Supply.

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“Since last year, Pfizer in partnership with BioNTech has worked tirelessly to expedite the development, approval and scale-up of our Covid-19 vaccine. The company has continually expanded manufacturing capability and external partnerships to deliver increased doses to the world to help defeat this devastating pandemic.”

The drug giant is in ongoing talks with the European Union over an agreement to supply an additional 1.8 billion doses to the bloc’s 27 member states, which was flagged by European Commission President earlier this month.

Pfizer has been significantly increasing commitments on vaccine supply. It initially expected to produce just 1.3 billion doses worldwide in 2021. That has since jumped to 1.7 billion, then two billion and, more recently, 2.5 billion. And that figure could yet rise as high as 3 billion.

That has involved upgrading existing plants – including Puurs in Belgium, which is Pfizer’s only European plant producing Covid-19 vaccine currently – as well as signing a third-party supply deal with vaccine giant Sanofi to boost supplies.

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