Earlier this week, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is in phase 3 trials and it is proven to be 90% effective against the virus. While the efficacy of this vaccine is one concern, Pfizer’s super complicated COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan is another concern that is accountable for its efficacy whether it is 90% or not.
Being a much-awaited, high in demand and highly sensitive vaccine, the distribution plan of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine involved complex details and checkpoints and some of the state officials are concerned over this plan.
This vaccine has to be stored at -75OC which is more than 50OC higher as compared to other vaccines currently transported, stored, and used in the US. Normally, no freezers offer this temperature to store any medicine or vaccine so the options to store Pfizer’s vaccine are limited. So they have come up with a complex handling process and storage requirements which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are hard to understand and imply.
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CDC has requested all US stated to be prepared for the vaccine which Pfizer has promised to deliver by the mid of November. However, they were informed of these requirements in mid-October giving them so many weeks to make arrangements.
First, the state officials were in disbelief and shock when they came to know about these unique storage conditions and requirements, confirms Dr. Kelly Moore, who is one of the officials responsible for administering this COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
To dispatch and transport this vaccine, dry ice is one essential component that is already short in many areas of the country. Dr. Moore says that she is expecting more problems because of this super complicated distribution plan which is unusual and different from the regular vaccine distributions. All these challenges that are coming forward in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans are unprecedented so there is literally nothing to compare here.
US Government is trying hard to work closely with the vaccine developing companies and the state agencies responsible for distributing the vaccine.
This distribution will be held through Operation Wrap Speed, which is basically a public-private partnership working for COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and medicines. Gen. Gustave Perna is the CEO of Operation Wrap Speed, who has previously served in the US Army Materiel Command.
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Perna ensures that this whole shift will take 60 minutes only and if it didn’t work, he will hold himself liable for it. other health experts have shown full faith in Perna, calling him the best person for this work.
Dr. Nelson Michael who is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research calls him the best logistician in the entire country.
On questioning this cold chain process of vaccine distribution, the spokesperson for Pfizer, Steven Danehy said that they are already working on new and improved cold-chain processes to ensure an improved vaccine supply.
Pfizer is also working on creating new packaging and conditions for vaccine storage, making sure that the vaccine reaches the faraway destinations, without any problem.