The experimental COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE could take much longer to reach to the layman.
Image courtesy Zee News
New Delhi: Days after the data for experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE showed promising results, it is yet to be ascertained how long it will take for the lay man to get their hands on the vaccine.
There are several shortcomings that both Pfizer and BioNTech will have to face in their attempts to distribute the vaccine.
The two obvious limiting factors will be a quick scale up in production and timely rollout — the task of ensuring each recipient gets two jabs exactly three weeks apart, and arranging the cryogenic logistical distribution network.
Though the vaccine`s complex and super-cold storage requirements are an obstacle for even the most sophisticated hospitals and may impact when and where it is available in rural areas or poor countries where resources are tight.
A Pfizer spokesperson informed that the vaccine needs to be kept in temperatures between -90°C to -60°C – that means existing freezer capacities to hold millions of doses will have scale up in large quantiites something that, according to experts, no country is prepared for.
“Initially, our potential COVID-19 vaccine will need to be stored at -75°C±15°C,” a Pfizer spokesperson was quoted as saying to The Indian Express.
“These vaccines are going to be expensive and their storage and delivery will be a challenge,” said vaccine scientist and Christian Medical College, Vellore professor Dr Gagandeep Kang.
Also, there are several questions which emerge from the information released from their phase 3 human trials of the vaccine.
Questions like does it prevent infectiousness; does it work well in high-risk groups like the elderly; and how long does the immunity last are some prevailing questions.
There will be more clarity as the late-stage trial progresses, this it could potentially months–even years–to answer these questions.
News Credit Zee News