BioNTech speaks of ‘complex network’ of production for vaccine

German Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer BioNTech claims to have a “complex network of production capacities in Europe.”

 The vaccine comirnaty and Partner companiesa

In addition to the production of the raw material in the company’s own plant in the western German city of Mainz, parts of the production also take place at partner companies, like Dermapharm near Halle in eastern Germany and Polymun near Vienna, a company spokeswoman told dpa on Monday.

In addition, the vaccine, which is called Comirnaty, is partly produced and finally bottled in the plant of US partner Pfizer in Puurs, Belgium. There is also the Pfizer network in the United States.

BioNTech boss Ugur Sahin said last week that his company was looking for further partners for production.
At the plant in Marburg – to the north of Frankfurt in the German state of Hesse – which BioNTech took over a few weeks ago from the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, production is scheduled to start in February.

250 million vaccine doses In the first half of 2021

The company is aiming for the release of the first vaccine produced in the Marburg plant by the end of March. It usually takes about four weeks between production and release of the controlled vaccine.

In the first half of 2021, 250 million vaccine doses are to be produced in the plant. The Mainz-based company is aiming for an annual total of 750 million doses.

 The EU approved six doses per bottle in  Comirnaty

According to BioNTech, each vial in which Comirnaty is delivered contains an amount of vaccine for up to six doses.
Each dose must contain 0.3 millilitres of the vaccine. In order to achieve the maximum possible amount of six doses per bottle, however, special syringes and needles are necessary.

Since these are not available everywhere in the world, the bottles are only intended for five doses and have been approved as such by the EU, for example, the company said.

According to the German Ministry of Health, however, six doses can now be taken from each vial in Germany. However, excess vaccine from several vials must not be combined into one dose.