Reuters report on the 14th, in order to be able to safely store the new coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer, states, cities and hospitals in the United States have begun rushing to buy ultra-low temperature refrigeration equipment.
According to previous reports, this vaccine based on a new technology faces special challenges and needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius or lower, which is equivalent to the winter temperature of Antarctica. The WHO has also stated that Pfizer vaccines are “very promising”, but they face cold chain storage and transportation challenges.
Some professional refrigerator manufacturers are warning that the supply of freezers in the United States is beginning to fall short of demand, and it will take several months to wait for supply.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US federal government urged healthcare providers not to buy ultra-low temperature freezers on August 26, saying that it is studying solutions to meet Pfizer’s “very complex storage and handling requirements”.
A CDC spokesperson also said last Thursday that the agency expects that the first batch of vaccines will be limited and will be put into use quickly, thereby reducing the need to store vaccines in special cold storage.
Pfizer said last Monday that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech has shown effectiveness in phase III clinical trials by more than 90%. This makes people’s attention turn to the vaccine transportation and warehousing logistics issues that ultimately need to be faced.
Many refrigerator manufacturers have received attention and are currently increasing their labor force and expanding production capacity.
“I estimate that one-third of the states (in the United States) are buying ultra-low temperature refrigeration equipment,” said Claire Hannan, who is the executive director of the American Association of Immunization Administrators, a non-profit organization that represents states and localities. The public health officer in charge of handling vaccine-related matters.
The price of professional refrigeration equipment required for vaccines produced by Pfizer is between US$5,000 and US$15,000.
Moderna is about to release the results of its similar vaccine efficacy. The storage conditions of the vaccine are relatively easy, requiring a storage temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius.
According to the report, at least six states, including California, Rhode Island and New Mexico, stated in public comments to the CDC that they are expected to face challenges due to limited refrigerator supply.
Kentucky Governor Andy Bessier on Thursday called on the federal government to provide funding for refrigerated vaccines, and expressed his hope that other vaccines with less stringent storage and transportation requirements can be approved by regulatory agencies.
The report pointed out that earlier this year, due to the lack of a coordinated response by the U.S. federal government to the Pandemic, U.S. states were forced to compete with each other on the procurement of N95 protective masks, ventilators and testing equipment used by medical workers.