November 16th. In order to be able to safely store coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer, states, cities and hospitals in the United States have begun to rush to buy ultra-low temperature refrigeration equipment. 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.
According to a Reuters report, on the 9th of this month, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE stated that early analysis showed that coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing symptomatic diseases. This makes people begin to pay attention to the final transportation and warehousing logistics safety issues of the vaccine. Since the US Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously advised healthcare providers not to purchase ultra-low temperature (ULT) refrigeration equipment, and the lack of infrastructure to support the ultra-cold vaccine movement in various regions, all regions had to prepare refrigerated transportation before the vaccine was launched. Equipment preparation.
Claire Hannan, executive director of the National Association of Immunization Management, said he estimated that one-third of the 50 states in the United States are buying ultra-low temperature storage devices. The report pointed out that at least six states in the United States, including California, Rhode Island and New Mexico, criticized the CDC and said that due to the limited supply of ULT freezers, these states that are planning to purchase vaccines are expected to face challenges. The governor of Kentucky also called on the federal government to provide funding for vaccine storage and hopes to approve vaccines with low storage requirements as soon as possible.
In order to cope with the sudden demand, many refrigerator manufacturers are increasing their labor force and expanding production capacity. However, this move cannot meet current needs. Some professional freezer manufacturers have warned that it will take several months to wait for supply now. Northwell, New York State-Long Island Jewish Medical System (Northwell Health) said it has leased about 20 ultra-cold refrigerators for the purchase and storage of Pfizer vaccines, and manufacturers now have a large number of orders to deliver. Some of the faster manufacturers say the delivery wait time may now be as long as two months. Some smaller manufacturers admit that the production of new orders has been postponed until next year. Vizient, which is responsible for the procurement of 5,000 medical systems, said, “Our delivery time is 18 months.”
It is reported that the price of professional refrigeration equipment required for vaccines produced by Pfizer ranges from US$5,000 to US$15,000. The vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius or lower, which is equivalent to the winter temperature in Antarctica. According to reports, Pfizer’s vaccine may be approved by regulatory authorities within a few weeks, and distribution can begin almost immediately. The vaccine will be shipped in a suitcase-sized container filled with dry ice, which can only be opened twice a day, resulting in a vaccine shelf life of up to two weeks.