Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine complexity lies in packaging, not storage necessities, Azar says


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar mentioned the complexity related to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine shouldn’t be the sub-freezing storage necessities, however as a substitute the massive quantity of 975 doses per package deal.

Azar instructed reporters on a name Monday that the media ceaselessly questions Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine’s ultra-low chilly chain. The vaccine have to be saved at temperatures of minus 70 levels Celsius (minus 94 F) or beneath.

To deal with that concern, and others that may come up throughout transportation, Pfizer has specifically designed temperature-controlled thermal shippers utilizing dry ice to keep up that temperature. Also, the containers will use GPS-enabled thermal sensors with management towers to trace the placement and temperature of every vaccine cargo.

Dry ice is poured right into a field containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as it’s ready to be shipped on the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

55 OF 145 INITIAL COVID-19 VACCINE SHIPMENTS RECEIVED: OPERATION WARP SPEED OFFICIAL

However, Azar mentioned Pfizer’s 975-dose packaging poses the actual impediment. He went as far as to name the sub-freezing hurdles a “false impression.”

“One false impression I get requested about loads by the media with the Pfizer vaccine and the ultra-low chilly chain round that,” he mentioned.

A Pfizer spokesperson beforehand addressed the vaccine’s chilly temperature storage necessities in an emailed assertion to Fox News: “Our distribution is constructed on a versatile just-in-time system, which is able to ship the frozen vials to the purpose of vaccination.”

Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are moved to the loading dock for shipping at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.

Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are moved to the loading dock for delivery on the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

Earlier stories cited issues over the logistical problem imposed on each refined and rural hospitals, and growing international locations‘ lack of vital gear to deal with the sub-freezing necessities. BUt Azar instructed reporters that the vaccine could possibly be shipped to rural areas. 

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The vaccine is delivered on dry ice and stays steady for about 5 days. Azar mentioned the Moderna vaccine, which remains to be pending FDA emergency approval, “might be extra versatile, [in a] smaller package deal, additionally an everyday freezer for storage capabilities.”

“There’s nothing within the nature of the Pfizer vaccine or distribution that stops use … simply need to be sure you use all these doses inside the related timeframe,” he mentioned.

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Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.



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