Pfizer will supply fewer vaccines for the time being; consequences still unclear

Pfizer will deliver fewer vaccines to European countries including the Netherlands in the next three to four weeks. The numbers are still unclear, but the weekly deliveries of 150,000 to 200,000 doses to the Netherlands are not reached for the time being.

The pharmaceutical company says to make more known about the expected deliveries in the coming week. We understand that this is a setback, says a spokesman. The adjustment has to do with an expansion of the plant in Puurs, Belgium. Once it is completed, more vaccines will have to be rolled out of the factory by mid-February.

For the Netherlands, Pfizer expects to be able to deliver slightly more doses in the first quarter: 2.6 million instead of 2.2 million. The Biontech/Pfizer vaccine is one of two approved vaccines in Europe.

Relay Puzzle

According to RIVM, the delayed deliveries do not affect the groups for which a vaccination with the PFIZER vaccine has already been agreed.

It is still unclear what the consequences of the delivery problems will be for the groups receiving this vaccine later. They are residents of nursing homes and institutions and the mobile people over 60. That piece of the puzzle needs to be relaid, says a RIVM spokesman.

According to RIVM, for anyone who has had the first prick or has an appointment, a dose has been kept so that the second prick can also be administered. There are now about 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in cold stores in Oss, allowing more than 200,000 people to be vaccinated.

A small ten percent of the available vaccines have been used at the moment. It concerns about 40,000 people from acute care and about 15,000 nursing home workers. They‘ve already got a first shot.

Elderly possibly later

Today, all 25 GGD regions are starting to vaccinate the more than 200,000 employees of nursing homes and institutions. For this operation, three weeks are allocated, which amounts to 350 and 400 pricks per GGD location per day.

In nursing homes and institutions for people with disabilities, vaccination is started from Monday. That initially concerns 15,000 people over twelve locations. It is only later that the remaining 140,000 inhabitants will have to be vaccinated, for which two times three weeks will be allocated.

Subsequent deliveries of the PFIZER vaccine may in particular affect the fourth group vaccinated with the PFIZER vaccine according to the government’s vaccination strategy: the 60 people over.

Minister De Jonge wrote this week to the House of Representatives that he wants to start with this group of about three million people in mid-February. They have to go to GGD locations for their shot. Vaccination of that group may only start a little later.