EMA boost for COVID-19 vaccine production
The European Medicines Agency has approved
additional manufacturing capacity for two companies producing vaccines against
COVID-19. The news comes as European countries continue to roll out vaccines
amid rising rates of the delta variant of the virus.
The medicines watchdog, which has played a leading
role in approving vaccines and inspecting manufacturing facilities, gave the
green light to a site Anagni, Italy. Operated by Catalent Anagni SRL, it will
perform finished product manufacturing of the Janssen vaccine (Johnson &
The Agency says this will support continued supply
of the vaccine in the EU and is effective immediately. Global supply of the
vaccine has been hampered by contamination at a manufacturing site in Maryland,
United States. While those doses were not intended for the EU market, it has
added to strain on global supplies of the one-dose vaccine.
Separately, the EMA also approved two additional
manufacturing sites for the production of BioNTech and Pfizer’s Comirnaty
vaccine against COVID-19. One site, located in Reinbek, Germany, is operated
by Allergopharma GmbH & Co. KG. The other in Stein, Switzerland, is
operated by Novartis Pharma. The sites will perform finished product
manufacturing steps at different stages of the process.