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Talks over COVID-19 vaccine production in Poland take place: AstraZeneca

“Talks about producing a COVID-19 vaccine are ongoing with both Polish authorities and companies to establish production capabilities in Poland. The arrangements are at an early stage, but we are pleased with the interest and openness from partners on the public side,” confirmed Piotr Najbuk, the Director of External Relations at AstraZeneca in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

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“We know that we are united by a common goal and this provides a basis for mutual conversations, we must remember that the issues of producing this type of preparation are very complex, so we will have to wait for the results,” Mr Najbuk said. At the same time, he stressed that this was not just an action AstraZeneca was taking to increase the availability of its vaccine.

“We have launched knowledge-sharing processes with new partners across the global network, which has significantly reduced the performance gap between our manufacturing sites. We are still working literally 24/7 to achieve our target performance across all sites. Second, we are making significant investments in new production capacity in Europe, for example through our partnership with IDT Biologika in Germany. Finally, we are mobilising production partners outside the EU to ensure additional supply streams,” he added.

On March 3, 2021, the Polish company Mabion received PLN 40 mln (8.6 mln EUR) support from the Polish Development Fund (PFR) and signed a contract for the production of Novavax vaccines in Poland. At the same time, information appeared in the media that the Polish government is negotiating the launch of new domestic COVID-19 vaccine production lines. Potential exchange partners include AstraZeneca, Sanofi and CureVac.

“We expect a significant supply of over 500,000 vaccines to Poland over the next several days, which will enable the continuation of the National Vaccination Programme,” Mr Najbuk told PAP. He also stated that despite export restrictions, AstraZeneca has already delivered over 1.2 mln vaccines to Poland.

“Considering that over 3.2 mln people have been vaccinated with the first dose and more than 1.7 mln people with the second dose of the vaccine in our country, our contribution to the Polish program is high,” he assessed.

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