Start in a few weeks: Biontech also wants to have production in NRW


Start in a few weeks
Biontech also wants to have production in NRW

The companies Biontech and Pfizer ramp up vaccine production. Another plant is due to go into operation in NRW soon. A vaccine from another manufacturer is also to be produced in the plant in the future.

The US company Baxter plans to soon manufacture vaccination doses from Biontech and Pfizer in Halle, Westphalia. "The plan is for us to start producing Biontech vaccines at the end of February / beginning of March," said Jürgen Fleischer, Head of HR. He didn't want to give any numbers. However, it is said to be an order in the hundreds of millions for vaccination doses that should be processed within 18 months. In the beginning, however, production is likely to start at a low level.

The Baxter headquarters in Chicago had announced at the beginning of the week that they would also produce the vaccine developed by Novavax in Halle. However, this is not yet approved. In EU circles it was said that the EU Commission was about to secure up to 200 million doses of the vaccine from Novavax. In December, the EU announced that it had concluded preliminary talks with the US group.

"Biontech already received approval for the plant in Halle in 2020," said Fleischer. From government circles it was said that Biontech had apparently already agreed with Baxter in September that the company should start manufacturing as a contract manufacturer. Today, Wednesday, representatives of the district government checked the implementation status again, said Fleischer. Baxter is about to convert a production facility. This happens without state aid.

So far it was only known that Biontech intends to manufacture vaccines in its own factory in Marburg in order to increase production capacity. The federal government is hoping to start production as early as February. In order to improve the vaccine supply, the federal and state governments agreed at their last peak meeting to look increasingly for further production sites.

Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder had brought state support into play. "We are a pharmaceutical country in Germany," Söder said. It must be possible to mobilize more production facilities that produce vaccines for Germany and Europe. Tomorrow, Thursday, Merkel, Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Health Minister Jens Spahn and Economics Minister Peter Altmaier want to talk about ways in which vaccine production can be expanded.

Biontech and Pfizer recently announced that they would produce a total of two billion doses of their vaccine against corona this year. Previously there had been talk of 1.3 billion cans. The vaccine is one of two vaccines against the virus that have now been approved in the EU. In Germany it has been vaccinated since the end of December. So far, around 750,000 people have received the drug.