Pfizer is committed to speeding up vaccine delivery after a J&J hiatus

Pfizer’s CEO said Tuesday that the company has ramped up its vaccine production to deliver doses faster following a disruption in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO, tweeted that the company could finalize an order for 300 million COVID-19 vaccines two weeks earlier, following advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier Tuesday, urging states to stop distribution of the J&J vaccine.

Bourla wrote that his company is on track to complete the order of 300 million doses it agreed to deliver two weeks earlier in late July, adding that it could deliver 10 percent more than originally agreed by the end of May.

@ Pfizer has ramped up production of our # COVID19 vaccine and can deliver 10% more doses to the US by the end of May than previously agreed (total 220 million) and deliver the full 300 million agreed two weeks by the end of July. In the fight against COVID-19, we are doing this together, ”he tweeted.

The CDC urged states to stop distribution of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine COVID-19 earlier Tuesday, after six patients experienced blood clotting problems after taking the vaccine.

Millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have already been distributed across the U.S. It is one of three vaccines to receive emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna’s.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement Tuesday that it would delay the rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine across Europe in response to the CDC’s recommendation, while advising that patients experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath or severe headaches after vaccination be contacted with a health professional.

“We are aware of an extremely rare condition in which people with blood clots in combination with low platelets are involved in a small number of people who have received our COVID-19 vaccine,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.

“We have worked closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public,” the statement continued.

The CDC’s recommendation came from six patients in the US, all women between the ages of 18 and 48, who developed a “rare and serious type of blood clot” after taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Officials at the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plan to investigate the cases, but out of a plethora of caution, have called for a halt to distribution of the vaccine in the meantime.

The reason given for the pause, despite the low number of reported cases of the clots, was to give doctors time to understand how to treat the potential side effects, the CDC and FDA said.

“This is important in part to ensure that the health care practitioner community is aware of the potential of these side effects and can plan for appropriate recognition and treatment because of the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot,” the officials said. two agencies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

– Updated at 5:04 pm