The maker of the West’s first Covid-19 vaccine is building a new manufacturing alliance that could throw Europe and the rest of the world a lifeline amid a painful shortage of shots and a rebound in infections. This is reported by Wall Street Journal.
BioNTech SE, a German company that joined with Pfizer Inc. to manufacture and distribute its vaccine, has marshaled an alliance of 13 companies, including Novartis AG, Merck KGaA, and Sanofi SA, in an effort to meet and perhaps exceed an ambitious target of making two billion doses of vaccine this year.
The European Union has been struggling with a shortage of vaccines as manufacturers, including British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca PLC, have fallen behind on their delivery pledges to the bloc.
The shortage has largely been limited to the EU, which was slower than its Western allies in ordering and approving the vaccines, and it has raised tensions between the bloc and the U.K. and the U.S.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommended the move following reports of serious blood clotting events in adults in Norway.
In a tweet, the Irish Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said it was a "precautionary step".
The World Health Organisation has said there was no link between the jab and an increased risk of developing a clot.
The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it was aware of the suspension in Ireland and was "closely reviewing reports".
"But given a large number of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause," a spokesperson said.