Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla announced that the pharmaceutical company will supply the United States with 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses sooner than expected. It will make deliveries to the U.S. and the European Union before the end of the second quarter.
The announcement is “due to a change in the vaccine’s label that allows health-care providers to extract an additional dose from each vial,” according to Bloomberg News.
Bourla commented on the “sluggish” vaccine rollout, telling the outlet that while it was slow over the last few weeks, he expects the rate at which people are administered doses of the vaccine to improve.
The pace of administered doses is certainly picking up: 22,734,243 doses have been administered as of today. Former President Donald Trump‘s administration had pledged to have 20 million citizens vaccinated before December 31 but fell short of that goal. Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker shows that 1.25 million people are being vaccinated each day on average, and the number continues to climb.
“The bottom line here is that this is a very scarce resource. We need to make sure every dose gets used,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who sits on the board of Pfizer, told CNBC yesterday. “The only way to do that is to market this as a vial that has six doses and provide the proper equipment to extract that sixth dose, which in fact Pfizer is doing.”