BioNTech warns of vaccine supply gaps - Spiegel

BioNTech has warned of a supply gap of COVID-19 vaccines, until others are approved and rolled out.

The German biotech startup is working with its partner, Pfizer, to boost production of their vaccine.

It has led the race but its shot has been slow to arrive in the European Union, due to relatively slow approval from the bloc's health regulator and the small size of the order placed by Brussels.

The United States ordered 600 million doses of the vaccine in July, while the EU waited until November to place an order of half that size.

The delays have caused consternation in Germany, where some regions had to temporarily close vaccination centres - mere days after the launch of an inoculation drive on Dec. 27.

BioNTech's CEO told news weekly Spiegel, "a hole is appearing because there's a lack of other approved vaccines."

A shot from Moderna is expected to be cleared by the European Medicines Agency on January 6.

Germany urged the EMA to also quickly approve a vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which Britain cleared this week.