Pfizer will be able to provide the United States with 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it developed alongside BioNTech by the end of May, CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday, per Bloomberg. That's two months ahead of the previous July 31 deadline the company had set for itself.
The reason for the apparent fast-tracking is actually a Food and Drug Administration-approved label change, which went into effect Monday, allowing health care workers to extract an additional sixth dose from each vial, so production levels won't necessarily increase. Bourla also said the alteration means Pfizer will be able to deliver 120 million doses to the U.S. by the end of March, 20 million more than promised when the vaccine was initially granted emergency use.
As Bloomberg notes, the expedited timeline comes amid widespread concern about the slower-than-anticipated pace of the vaccine rollout in the U.S., so it's welcome news, though Bourla also suggested things will pick up in the coming weeks, either way. Read more at Bloomberg.