1. The four trial states at the end of 2020
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer ($PFE) will conduct an experimental research program in four US states to optimize plans for the delivery and distribution of corona vaccines. The program is conducted in the states: Rhode Island, New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas.
The reason these four states were chosen is because of the different sizes in areas, population numbers and vaccination systems. Pfizer said in their statement that, despite participating in the program, the states will not receive vaccines on a large scale before. The states do not receive any other preferential treatment either.
Last Monday it was announced that early research data showed that the Pfizer vaccine was effective in preventing a corona infection in 90% of the cases. Pfizer developed the vaccine together with German biotech company BioNTech ($BNTX) and expects to produce 1.3 billion vaccines next year.
2. Distribution plans are the next challenge
Pfizer could receive federal approval within weeks of the experimental research program. Only after the company ships millions of doses around the world does a new challenge begin. Because what about the logistics surrounding the vaccine exactly?
At nearly minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored and transported to remain effective. Experts warn that the United States lacks the necessary warehouses and cargo planes capable of shipping the millions of doses at these extreme temperatures.
Pfizer has therefore developed purpose-built cold stores in which the vaccines can be transported. At first this seemed to solve the logistical problem of the correct temperature, but now the next problem arises. The cargo packed with specially formulated dry ice may only be opened twice a day for less than 3 minutes at a time. In addition, dry ice is considered a hazardous material, especially for aircraft transport.
Pfizer said their logistics are well below the acceptable limit. However, due to the complicated logistics chain and restrictions, it can take up to four days for the vaccines to arrive at their destination. That gives many hospitals and pharmacies six days to administer 5,000 doses before it goes bad, which works out to 833 per day.
Hospitals therefore need ultra-cold freezers that can store vaccinations for up to six months. However, few hospitals or pharmacies already own the special freezers. Besides the fact that these special freezers each have a price of around $20,000, they are also very scarce and not easy to get anywhere in the world. Manufacturer K2 previously reported that the wait for its ultra-cold freezers is now six weeks.
Pfizer is now said to have developed detailed logistics plans and tools to support effective transport, storage and continuous temperature monitoring of vaccines. But the details about this have not yet emerged. More news about this is expected soon.
3. Can Pfizer and Moderna end the pandemic together?
A combination of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s effective corona vaccines could be enough to end the pandemic by 2021, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. This was told the CNBC after Moderna announced preliminary data and found the vaccine to be 94.5% effective against the Covid-19 virus. If the full data sets turn out to be correct, the two highly effective vaccines may be enough, referring to the candidates from Pfizer and Moderna.
“You have to presume, at these levels of efficacy that we’re seeing from these vaccines, the vaccines aren’t just reducing signs and symptoms of Covid disease but they’re actually probably preventing some people from getting infected or maybe reducing the likelihood of people shedding the virus.”
– Dr. Scott Gottlieb
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