Pfizer Plans to Cut Vaccine Production Time to Make More Doses | Nutrition Fit

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Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Pfizer expects to cut its COVID-19 vaccine production time by almost 50% as the process becomes more efficient, according to USA Today.

The production time could drop from about 110 days to about 60 days to make a batch of doses, the company told the news outlet.

“We call this ‘Project Light Speed,’ and it’s called that for a reason,” Chaz Calitri, vice president for operations for Pfizer’s sterile injectables, told USA Today. Calitri runs the company’s plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“Just in the last month, we’ve doubled output,” he said.

The company’s COVID-19 vaccine is made at three Pfizer plants. Vaccine production first begins in Chesterfield, Missouri, and then it moves to Andover, Massachusetts. The vaccine is completed in Kalamazoo before being shipped out.

Engineers have been analyzing the process to make it more efficient during the past few months, such as decreasing the time it takes to make the DNA for the vaccine process and adding more manufacturing lines in the plants, the news outlet reported.

So far, the U.S. has shipped 59.3 million vaccine doses, according to the latest CDC data updated on Saturday. More than 30 million people have received the first dose, and 8.3 million people have received their second dose in the two-shot regimen. About 20.6 million Pfizer doses have been administered.

As healthcare providers race to administer doses, more COVID-19 vaccine mega sites are opening nationwide, according to CBS This Morning. Yankee Stadium in New York opened on Friday to a long line of people, and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara County will become California’s largest vaccination site this week.

On Thursday, the NFL announced that it plans to open all of its 32 stadiums as vaccination sites. Right now, seven NFL teams are hosting COVID-19 vaccinations at or near their stadiums: the Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the Carolina Panthers, the Houston Texans, the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots.

“We can expand our efforts to stadiums across the nation more effectively because many of our clubs have offered their facilities previously as COVID testing centers as well as election sites over the past several months,” Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden.

Goodell also noted that 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers will attend the Super Bowl game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday. Public health officials have voiced concerns about Super Bowl parties creating another potential surge in coronavirus cases across the country, according to The New York Times.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined in recent weeks. Officials hope to see additional declines in the coming weeks and encouraged people to watch the game at home with only their household members.

“Enjoy the Super Bowl, but don’t do it with a large crowd of people in your house in a place when it’s cold and you don’t have good ventilation,” Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC on Friday night.

“It’s a perfect setup to have a mini superspreader event in your own house,” he said. “Don’t do that for now.”

Sources:

USA Today, “Pfizer expects to cut COVID-19 vaccine production time by close to 50% as production ramps up, efficiencies increase.”

CDC, “COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States.”

CBS This Morning, “More COVID-19 vaccine megasites open nationwide, including at Yankee Stadium.”

Roger Goodell, “Feb. 4 letter to President Joe Biden.”

New York Times, “The Super Bowl brings fears of another coronavirus surge.”

MSNBC, “Dr. Fauci discusses the Super Bowl.”



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