Pfizer cuts 2020 COVID-19 vaccine distribution in half due to supply-chain issues, report says

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Pfizer Inc. says it will ship half of the COVID-19 vaccines it originally aimed for this year due to supply-chain problems, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer and BioNTech SE had planned to ship out 100 million vaccines world-wide by the end of 2020. They will now ship around 50 million. However, Pfizer still expects to ship out more than a billion doses in 2021.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the vaccine and hoping that authorization and distribution will come before the end of the year. Britain became the first country to approve distribution earlier this week.

More than 14 million people have contracted the virus in the U.S. and more than 275,000 Americans have died, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins.

The island kingdom of Bahrain said Friday it has become the second nation in the world to grant an emergency-use authorization for the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency made the announcement on Friday night.

“The confirmation of approval by the National Health Regulatory Authority of the kingdom of Bahrain followed thorough analysis and review undertaken by the authority of all available data,” the kingdom said on its state-run Bahrain News Agency.

Bahrain did not say how may vaccines it has purchased, nor when vaccinations would begin. It did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press, nor did Pfizer.

Also Friday, European Union police agency Europol issued a warning highlighting the risk of organized crime scams linked to COVID-19 vaccines, including the possibility criminals will try to sell dangerous counterfeit vaccines or to hijack shipments of genuine shots.

In an “early warning notification,” Europol said that crime gangs already have reacted to opportunities presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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