BioNTech says EU countries that want COVID-19 shots to get them within 5 days

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FILE PHOTO: A vial of the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is seen as medical staff are vaccinated at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel

ZURICH (Reuters) - European Union countries that want the COVID-19 vaccine made by BioNTech SE and Pfizer following its approval in the bloc will receive doses in the next five days, a BioNTech executive said on Tuesday during a news conference.

The EU is geared up to start mass vaccinations against COVID-19 just after Christmas after the shot developed by the two companies cleared regulatory hurdles on Monday.

BioNTech Chief Business Officer Sean Marett reiterated on Monday that the companies plan to produce 50 million doses in 2020, followed by a ramp-up of manufacturing in 2021.

(Reporting by John Miller in Zurich and Patricia Weiss in Frankfurt; editing by Jason Neely)