Supply Chain

How long to make?

See an earlier blog post on how long to switch strains. The Wikipedia article on Pfizer manufacturing also contains information on how long each step takes. This article talks a little about why you can’t just turn on more production with the flick of a switch.

Vaccine production locations

I started keeping track of where vaccines were made to better understand supply chain issues. (For example, if Belgium has a general strike or Texas freezes, how will that impact production?)

For more information on the vaccine supply chain, see this outstanding article.


Different plants for different steps

French firm Delpharm eventually(?)


mRNA for clinical trials was made in-house at Norwood, Massachusetts


Contracted to:

Johnson&Johnson AKA Janssen

By Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore (two plants) and the Netherlands

Sanofi to help Janssen in Marcy L’Etoile, France

Merck to help Janssen in the US, one plant doing fill-finish and one making serum.

Somewhere in India. Also Biological E Ltd in India, which is a major manufacturer of low-cost drugs.

Fill-finish in the US is currently being done by Grand River Aseptic, with plants in Michigan, and Catalent, at a plant in Bloomington, Indiana.

In Italy, Catalent also is helping Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca manufacture their vaccines.

Canada has approved J&J factories in both the US and Europe, but it’s not clear at this point which factories we’ll get the vax from.


Here’s an article on Novavax’ partnerships and manufacturing.

Providence Therapeutics (mRNA)


  • Toronto (coming online in 2021)
  • ~75 other plants