No evidence vaccine need to be adapted for variants, declares BioNTech

WION Web Team
Berlin, Germany Published: May 10, 2021, 05:48 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

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BioNTech has identified Singapore as its Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site which is set to be operational by 2023.

German firm BioNTech which produces its vaccine jointly with Pfizer of the United States declared on said that "there is no evidence that an adaptation of BioNTech's current COVID-19 vaccine against key identified emerging variants is necessary."

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The company had earlier said that the vaccine works against the variant first found in India. It has already sent the vaccine to over 90 countries worldwide.

"The aim of this study is to explore the regulatory pathway that BioNTech and Pfizer would pursue if SARS-CoV-2 were to change enough to require an updated vaccine," the company said after announcing that it had began tests in March on a "modified, variant-specific version" of the vaccine.

The vaccine maker has identified Singapore as its Southeast Asia headquarters and manufacturing site which is set to be operational by 2023. The company plans to produce three billion doses by 2021 end and accelerate it to over three billion doses next year.

In a bid to raise production, BioNTech and Pfizer set licensing and manufacturing partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Novartis and Sanofi.

As Europe battles the virus, the EU last week had struck a deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for up to 1.8 billion extra doses of the vaccine.

"Happy to announce that the EU Commission has just approved a contract for guaranteed 900 million doses (+900 million options) with BioNTech/Pfizer for 2021-2023," European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen had said.

The EU chief had said that the mRNA technology used by Pfizer-BioNTech and other vaccine makers has proved safe and effective in Europe. The EU had already secured 600 million doses of the vaccine earlier.

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