BioNTech says back on schedule to deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses to EU

Feb 1 (Reuters) - BioNTech and Pfizer Inc are on-track to meet the delivery deadline for their coronavirus vaccine to the European Union, the Germany-based company said on Monday.

European countries are grappling with broad vaccine delays, at least temporarily, as all Western vaccine makers with approved shots - Moderna, Pfizer and partner BioNTech and AstraZeneca - fall behind their initial delivery targets.

BioNTech and Pfizer are working toward ramping up delivery to Europe beginning the week of Feb. 15, the German company said.

Pfizer has successfully modified production processes at its manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium, putting the companies back on the original schedule of vaccine dose deliveries to the European Union, BioNTech said.

BioNTech said its own manufacturing site in Marburg, Germany, will be able to start production for validation by the European Medicines Agency in February.

The company also said its European manufacturing network has continued to expand, from three partners in December 2020 when the companies’ vaccine was first authorized, to 13 currently.

The companies expect to make 2 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)