Pfizer facility in Chesterfield working on COVID-19 vaccine
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson announced Thursday at a press conference that the Pfizer Research and Development Facility in Chesterfield is one of three Pfizer locations in the United States that has been selected as an initial manufacturing center for COVID-19 vaccine production.
Parson announced that Pfizer and it's partner, BioNTech, were beginning human trials of the vaccine.
“For Missourians to feel safe going forward, we must be able to develop a COVID-19 vaccine,” Governor Parson said.
“We are proud the Pfizer facility right here in Chesterfield, Missouri, is helping lead the charge on this critically important global development.”
Christine Smith, a representative of Pfizer in Chesterfield, spoke more about their production at the press conference.
"The technology that Pfizer and BioNTech are developing is known as 'mRNA Vaccine or Messenger RNA vaccine,'" she said. "The vaccine being developed is composed of subunits, linked together in a specific order, that conveys genetic information to make protein antigens that are specific for our pathogen, and in this case, the virus that causes COVID-19."
According to Smith, in order for the vaccine to be effective, a template is required. This template is made biosynthetically and is required for every manufacturing run.
Along with the Chesterfield facility, Pfizer owned-sites in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Puurs, Belgium, have also been identified as manufacturing centers for COVID-19 vaccine production. Through its existing mRNA production sites in Mainz and Idar-Oberstein, Germany, BioNTech plans to ramp up its production capacity to provide further capacities for a global supply of the potential vaccine.
The Chesterfield Pfizer site will be manufacturing this template.