Ursula von der Leyen: EU Will Receive Pfizer Vaccine on Time

The Head of the Covid-19 National Vaccine Taskforce has said there will only be a modest impact to the rollout of the vaccination programme by a temporary reduction in supplies of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Professor Brian MacCraith said: "After a stressful day, it has been very relieving news to hear from Pfizer this evening that the proposed reduction will only apply to one week and that is this coming week."

Prof MacCraith said he was assured by the Chief Executive of Pfizer in a conference call this evening that the production of the vaccine will return to the normal schedule the following week, before being scaled up from the middle of next month.

He said: "There is additional good news that from 15 February onwards, there will be significant growth in the supplies coming in."

Speaking to RTÉ News, Prof MacCraith said that the National Vaccine Taskforce was "very concerned that it might impact our particular focus at the moment, which is the rollout of the vaccine in nursing homes across the country, but I can assure people that news has changed very much for the better".

He said there will be a small reduction in the manufacturing of doses at the Pfizer plant in Puurs in Belgium this coming week, but he said it will only have "a modest impact on our rollout plans."

Prof MacCraith said it means "we can go ahead with the planned rollout over the coming number of weeks, largely as we planned originally."

Earlier, Pfizer said there will be a "temporary reduction" in the number of doses delivered next week but added it will be back to the original delivery schedule for the European Union from the 25 January. 

In a statement, the company said it developed a plan "that will allow the scale-up of...

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