IT has emerged hundreds of employees at Fuijifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Billingham are involved in manufacturing the new Covid-19 vaccine – with work to begin in February.
There are approximately 800 workers on the Teesside site of the firm, 200 to 300 are “involved” in the Covid-19 vaccine manufacture.
Yesterday it was announced the Billingham Fujifilm site will be making 60 million doses of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine.
A Fujifilm UK spokesperson said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on public health and the global economy. Fujifilm is honoured to be part of the solution by leveraging our talented staff and world-class manufacturing facilities to bring a safe and effective vaccine to the world.
“FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies has partnered with several Covid-19 vaccine and therapeutic manufacturers, including Novavax. For Novavax, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is manufacturing bulk drug substance of Novavax’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate across our sites in North Carolina, Texas, and here on Teesside, in Billingham.
“Our shared goal along with others in the biopharma industry is to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine is widely available. Our teams in North Carolina and Texas have been supporting manufacture of the Novavax antigen for several months.
“Our UK team has completed all the necessary preparation work to initiate manufacturing for the Novavax vaccine candidate on Teesside. We plan to begin manufacturing in February as requested by Novavax following receipt of the final raw materials needed for vaccine production.
“We are in daily contact with our suppliers checking on a significantly strained supply chain. We deeply thank them for everything they and their employees are doing to safely and quickly provide us and other manufacturers with the product needed to combat this terrible pandemic.”