03:56 GMT04 March 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US drug giant Pfizer expects to ship about half of the COVID-19 vaccines it originally planned for this year because of supply-chain problems, although it still expects to roll out over a billion doses in 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    Scaling up the raw material supply chain took longer than expected, a Pfizer spokesperson told the newspaper on Thursday. The outcome of the clinical trial, the spokesperson added, was somewhat later than the initial projection.

    New York-headquartered Pfizer and Germany-based partner BioNTech SE had hoped to roll out 100 million vaccines world-wide by the end of this year, a plan that has now been reduced to 50 million, the report said.

    The United Kingdom on Wednesday granted emergency-use authorization for the vaccine, becoming the first Western country to start administering doses.

    The two-shot Pfizer vaccine is also being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration, where a similar authorization could come later this month and a rollout before the end of the year. The US regulator also is considering a vaccine developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. that could begin shipping before Christmas.


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