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Pfizer, BioNtech raise 2021 COVID-19 vaccine delivery goal to 2 billion

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE are now aiming to deliver as many as 2 billion COVID-19 vaccinations in 2021 depending on process improvements and expansions at the facilities manufacturing the shot, named Comirnaty.

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Freezers containing doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at Pfizer's facility in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Source: Pfizer

The revised number incorporates a label update that recommends pulling six doses from each vial rather than five as was previously suggested. This revision comes after the vaccine was rolled out and many administrators found there were extra doses in each vial.

BioNTech provided the update as part of an investor presentation. The company also presented on the first day of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Jan. 11.

BioNTech said the shot is being manufactured at six sites around the world: three in the U.S., two in Germany and one in Belgium. As of late December 2020, the companies had planned to manufacture 1.3 billion shots.

"We have already almost 33 million doses shipped, but we have produced much more in the meantime," BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said at J.P. Morgan.

The companies have so far committed just under 1 billion doses to countries around the world.

Comirnaty was found to be 95% effective in clinical trials and has been authorized for emergency use in a number of countries around the world, including the U.S. BioNTech plans to pursue other label expansions for the vaccine, including for use in pregnant women and children.