By Carl O’Donnell
(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc’s shipment of COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico this week includes doses made in its U.S. plant, the first of what are expected to be ongoing exports of its shots from the United States, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The vaccine shipment, produced at Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Michigan plant, marks the first time the drugmaker has delivered abroad from U.S facilities after a Trump-era restriction on dose exports expired at the end of March, the source said.
The U.S. government has been under mounting pressure in recent weeks to provide surplus vaccines to other nations desperately in need as it makes swift progress vaccinating its own residents. Many countries where the virus is still rampant are struggling to acquire vaccine supplies to help tame the pandemic.
Pfizer has shipped more than 10 million doses to Mexico so far, becoming its largest supplier of COVID-19 vaccine.
Mexico’s health ministry said it is receiving 2 million doses from Pfizer this week. It was unclear how many of those will come from the United States.
Pfizer produces its COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with German biotech BioNTech SE.
(Reporting by Carl O’Donnell in New York; Additional reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Adriana Barrera in Mexico City; Editing by Bill Berkrot)