Who owns Pfizer? Where is the vaccine made & how?

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Dailynewsun Desk:

The UK and other European countries have already approved the use of the Covid vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and Brits could get the jab in a matter of days.

Who owns Pfizer and where is the company based? Here is everything you’ll need to know.

Who owns Pfizer?
Pfizer is a Pharmaceutical corporation that was founded in New York City in 1849 by Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart.

The company does not have one specific owner but rather owned by the people who make up its share registry.

According to Yahoo Finance, 27.6 per cent of the corporation’s shares are owned by the general public while 72.3 per cent of its shares are owned by institutions.

Where is the Pfizer vaccine made?
Pfizer and BioNTech reported final trial results on November 18 which showed its vaccine was 95 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19, with no major safety concerns.

Previously Pfizer said the vaccine will be produced in BioNTech’s German manufacturing sites, as well as in Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium for European countries.

In November the companies reached an agreement with the European Commission to supply 200m doses of their vaccine.

Britain has already ordered 40m doses, meaning 20million people can be vaccinated as two doses need to be given.

Where is Pfizer located?
Pfizer’s headquarters is located in New York, USA. The company has five locations, working within commercial business, research and development (R&D), manufacturing, packaging and distribution operations, across the UK.

Its UK commercial headquarters are located in Walton Oaks in Surrey and it also has centres in Sandwich, Kent, Havant, Cambridge and Hurley in Berkshire.

Who is the CEO of Pfizer?
The current CEO of Pfizer is Albert Bourla. Mr Bourla has been working with Pfizer for more than 25 years and has held several senior global positions across a range of markets in the business.

Prior to his position as CEO, Mr Bourla acted as COO in 2018 and served as Group President of Pfizer Innovative Health from 2016 to 2017.

Mr Bourla began his career in Pfizer in the Animal Health Division in Greece after receiving a Ph.D in Veterinary Medicine from the Veterinary School of Aristotle University.

What is the new Covid vaccine and who will get it first?
The new vaccine developed by Pfizer is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine. Conventional vaccines are produced using weakened forms of the virus, but mRNAs use only the virus’s genetic code.

An mRNA vaccine is injected into the body where it enters cells and tells them to create antigens. These antigens are recognised by the immune system and prepare it to fight coronavirus.

The vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised.

Pfizer plans to apply to the US regulator the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of November.

It will also seek approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death.

New regulations allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have also been introduced by the Government.

Its interim guidance, which assumes the jab is safe and effective in all groups, says the order of priority should be:
* Older adults in a care home and care home workers
* All those aged 80 and over and health and social care workers, though they may move up the list
* Anyone 75 and over
* People aged 70 and over
* All those aged 65 and over
* High-risk adults under 65
* Moderate-risk adults under 65
* All those aged 60 and over
* All those 55 and over
* All those aged 50 and over
* The rest of the population, with priority yet to be determined.

The JCVI said the prioritisation could change if the first jab were not deemed suitable for, or effective in, older adults.

Why can it only be made by Pfizer?
The Covid-19 has been developed by Pfizer and BioNtech and so they own the intellectual property of the vaccine. However, on November 10, pharmaceutical rival Eli Lilly And Co’s have had an antibody treatment authorized by the FDA.

The antibody was approved for use in mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults and paediatric patients over the age of the 12.

What other medicines and vaccines does Pfizer produce?
Pfizer has made many well-known drugs that are used by people every day. The corporation’s brands include Advil, Viagra, Xanax and include many consumer products including Chapstick.

Pfizer has had many triumphs including the discovery of citric acid as well as its mass production of penicillin and vitamin C.

A small shopping basket filled with vials labeled “COVID-19 – Coronavirus Vaccine” and medical sryinges are placed on a Pfizer logo in this illustration taken November 29, 2020. Picture taken November 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

EU anger over delayed Pfizer vaccine deliveries
Several EU countries are receiving significantly fewer doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine than expected, after the US firm slowed shipments.

Six nations called the situation “unacceptable” and warned it “decreases the credibility of the vaccination process”. Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia urged the EU to apply pressure on Pfizer-BioNTech, reports BBC.

Pfizer said the reduced deliveries were a temporary issue. In a statement on Friday, the drugmaker said shipments were being affected by changes to its manufacturing processes designed to boost production.

“Although this will temporarily impact shipments in late January to early February, it will provide a significant increase in doses available for patients in late February and March,” Pfizer said.

Pfizer Company’s Statement
The company said its production upgrades would also have a “short-term impact” on the delivery of vaccines to the UK.

Despite this, the UK government said it still planned to hit its target of vaccinating all priority groups by mid-February – about 15 million people.

The vaccine from Pfizer is not the only candidate available in the UK, with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca jab also currently being rolled out.

The EU is not wholly reliant on the Pfizer jab either, having approved a vaccine manufactured by US company Moderna for use. Still, the development is expected to slow the pace of vaccination programmes.

The German health ministry called Pfizer’s announcement surprising and regrettable, noting that it had committed to binding delivery dates until mid-February.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she had been assured by Pfizer’s chief executive that all orders guaranteed for delivery in the first quarter of the year would arrive.