Covid-19: Expansion of vaccine deliveries worldwide

Pharmaceutical companies have not only invented and tested the first Covid 19 vaccines in less than a year, but have also set up large-scale production for them. That is why they can deliver them at all right now. While further expansion of production is still underway; it will not stop until 20 billion or more vaccine doses can be produced worldwide per year.

Nahaufnahme von kreisförmiger Produktlinie zur Impfstoffproduktion mit Ampullen

A steep increase in production capacity

Rapidly growing networks for covid-19 vaccine production

Announcement dateCompany; LocationFunction in the production of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
05.05.2020BioNTech; Mainz (Rhineland-Palatinate)F&E, Manufacturing
05.05.2020Pfizer; Puurs (Belgium)Manufacturing
05.05.2020Pfizer; Kalamazoo, Andover, Chesterfield (all USA)Manufacturing
02.09.2020Polymun; Vienna (Austria)Formulation
10.09.2020Dermapharm; Brehna (Saxony-Anhalt)Since October 2020 Formulation and filling
14.09.2020Siegfried; Hameln (Lower Saxony)since mid-June 2021 filling
17.09.2020BioNTech; Marburg (Hesse)Production (since February)
07.10.2020Rentschler Biopharma; Laupheim (Baden-Wuerttemberg)Production steps mRNA purification
18.11.2021Delpharm; Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre (Normandy, France)since August 2021 filling
06.01.2021Dermapharm; Brehna (Saxony-Anhalt)Capacity doubling for formulation and filling
13.01.2021Baxter BioPharma Solutions; Halle (Westphalia)sterile manufacturing services (since February 2021)
14.01.2021Allergopharma; Reinbek (Schleswig-Holstein)Vaccine formulation (since 30.04.2021)
15.01.2021Pfizer; Puurs (Belgien)Rebuild for more production capacity
27.01.2021Sanofi; Frankfurt a.M.filling from summer 2021
29.01.2021Novartis; Stein a. Rh. (Switzerland)filling from end second quarter
01.02.2021Rentschler Biopharma; Laupheim (Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany)Expansion of capacity for the mRNA purification production step for BioNTech/Pfizer
05.02.2021Merck; Darmstadt (Hesse)Accelerated supply of lipids needed for BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
11.02.2021Evonik; Hanau und DossenheimExpansion of lipid production for BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
05.03.2021Polymun; Klosterneuburg (Austria)Expansion of capacity for production of lipid nanoparticles for BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
10.05.2021BioNTech; Singapurfuture production, after building a production plant
19.05.2021Pfizer; Grange Castle bei Dublin (Irland)künftig Produktion
01.06.2021Pfizer; Puurs (Belgien)Expansion of production
21.07.2021Lipoid; Ludwigshafen a. Rh. (Germany)Expansion of supply of certain lipids for formulation
21.07.2021BioVac; Cape Town (South Africa)Future participation in BioNTech/Pfizer manufacturing network from early 2022 to produce vaccine for the African Union (starting from active ingredient supplied from Europe)
24.08.2021BioNTech, Marburg (Germany)Expanding production capacity
26.08.2021Eurofarma Sao Paulo (Brazil)Future participation in BioNTech/Pfizer production network from early 2022 to produce vaccine for South America (starting from precursor supplied from the U.S.
18.10.2021Patheon Italia; Monza (Italien)Produktion von fertigem Impfstoff
18.10.2021Catalent Anagni; Anagni (Italien)Produktion von fertigem Impfstoff
21.10.2021Novartis; Ljubljana (Slowenien)im Verlauf von 2022: Abfüllung von fertigem Impfstoff

Source: press releases from the companies mentioned and from the EMA; media reports; information provided by the companies.

Similarly, other companies have established networks for the production of their vaccines or have licensed themselves to other companies that have the necessary equipment and personnel qualified to do so. In each case, these companies receive extensive training from the original company.

Cooperations are the path to rapid expansion of supplies for Corona vaccines

On the other hand, no rapid expansion of production capacity is promised by the idea of using patent revocation and compulsory licensing to contract any other pharmaceutical company to produce the vaccines. After all, vaccine production is one of the most demanding tasks in drug manufacturing. Every detail matters to ensure that vaccines are effective and tolerable.


Vaccine production always requires intensive technical preparation. Nothing can be done on demand.»

Han Steutel, vfa president

Only with the help of the original manufacturer can another company be quickly put in a position to participate in production. Therefore, cooperations are the conclusive way to quickly expand production volumes.

Several Western companies are cooperating with African companies to establish their own production of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa:

  • Belgian company Univercells - which is working with Reithera (Italy) on a Covid-19 vaccine - according to a media report June 6, 2021 - is collaborating with Senegal's Pasteur Institute in Dakar on vaccine production. It is planned to start filling vaccine produced in Belgium as early as 2022, and then to enable further production steps in Senegal in the course of 2022.
  • BioNTech and Pfizer announced in July 2021 to work with Biovac in South Africa on a technology transfer that would gradually allow the company to carry out full production of mRNA vaccine against Covid-19 itself. The milestone is for Biovac to take over the filling of vaccine batches produced elsewhere for Africa in 2022. By four years from now, the upstream production steps could then also take place in Africa, if all goes according to plan.
  • The U.S. company Dyadic International has also announced a collaboration with South Africa's Rubic Consortium in July 2021. Under the agreement, the Consortium will be equipped with Dyadic's cell culture technology for the production of protein-based Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Moderna announced in October 2021 that it plans to establish an mRNA vaccine plant in Africa. In addition to Covid-19 vaccine, other vaccines would then be produced there. Derzeit sei man länderübergreifen auf der Suche nach einem geeigneten Standort.