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UPDATE 1-EU approves ramp-up of Pfizer vaccine manufacturing site in Belgium

(Adds detail, background)

April 23 (Reuters) - Europe’s drug regulator on Friday approved an expansion in manufacturing capacity of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium, while recommending an approval for a new filling line at Moderna’s site in Spain.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it has approved an increase in batch size and associated process scale up at Pfizer’s vaccine manufacturing site in Puurs, Belgium.

The approval is expected to have a "significant impact on the supply of Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, in the European Union," the agency said bit.ly/3elW4pw.

The move comes amid a slow vaccinations campaign in Europe, hit by problems ranging from poor coordination between national and regional authorities to a damaging contractual row with AstraZeneca.

Moderna’s new line recommended for approval will enable an increase in finished product fill activities, to adjust with the active substance scale-up process at the active substance manufacturing site approved last month, it said. (Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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