Tag: Pfizer

Sweden Retracts Vaccine Stored Under Wrong Temperatures
Europe

Sweden Retracts Vaccine Stored Under Wrong Temperatures

The country that was boasting about combating the Corona Virus through herd immunity has failed yet again, in mitigating the virus spread, as it administered vaccines to its Swedes stored at the wrong temperature while being transported. 

Swedish medical facilities have landed up giving some 1000 patients the Covid-19 vaccine stored in the wrong temperature. All those administered the doses were medical professionals. A total of 2100 such doses were stored in wrong temperature.  They amount to 20percent of what Sweden had to receive and were (unfortunately) stored in rather low temperature.

Apparently, there was a problem with delivery itself.  As of now, there have been so side effects, but those administered are being observed for any adverse reactions. The other doses have been withheld for further investigation to ascertain whether their efficacy remains effective even after they were stored on low temperatures while being transported. 

Before this, Sweden has made use of the Pfizer vaccine candidate and has inoculated more than 1.4 million of its population.  

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The currently authorized mRNA vaccines have been found to provide up to 95% immunity against COVID-19. Further, vaccine research specialists have also ascertained that both the Pfizer and Morderna vaccines are so similar that both can be used interchangeably in order a patient gets two jobs in the interval of 28 days. This has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while they are still trying to decipher if the efficacy of the medication is affected if used interchangeably. 

Both have made use of the messenger RNA technology. 

AS the scare around the mutated virus increases, there will be the need to either tweak the vaccine or to ensure that the existing one can fight the possibly resilient Corona virus. According to vaccine researchers, tweaking the recipe wouldn’t be difficult for vaccines made with newer technologies. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made with a piece of the virus genetic code that is simple to switch. 

Biden announces ‘American Rescue Plan’ to heal ailing economy and the pandemic crisis
Americas

Biden announces ‘American Rescue Plan’ to heal ailing economy and the pandemic crisis

American Rescue Plan: On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden announces a $1.9 trillion Covid plan called the ‘American Rescue Plan’ to help fight the profound human crisis by accelerating immunizations and siphoning out monetary assistance to those battling with the pandemic’s financial aftermath. 

The president-elect praised Congress for passing the $900 billion package in Dec 2020 and he stressed that more action is required promptly to help fight the ailing economy.

The American Rescue Plan legislative proposal would meet Biden’s objective of managing 100 million immunizations by the 100th day and advance his goals of resuming most schools by the spring. It will also help balance the economy and aid the coronavirus crisis.

Biden proposed a $1,400 stimulus for Americans, which on top of $600 gave in the latest COVID-19 bill would carry the all out to the $2,000 that Biden has called for. It would likewise boost unemployment benefits and a moratorium on removals and foreclosures through Sept.

The U.S. administration has approved two different vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and Moderna vaccine for emergency use. Both require a two-shot. Up until now, over 10 million individuals have got the first shot. 

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer stated that passing a coronavirus relief bill would be the main goal when Democrats take control of the Senate. 

More than 385,000 people have passed away due to coronavirus in the U.S. On Thursday, the weekly unemployment claims jumped to 965,000, a signal that rising infections are forcing businesses to lay off workers.

Under Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package will include $415 billion to zero in on battling the pandemic, over $1 trillion in direct stimulus to families, and $440 billion to aid business amid the growing economic crisis.

The plan incorporates funding for $1,400 in additional stimulus checks to Americans who are fit for them, adding to $600 checks previously passed in Dec; and an increase in additional weekly unemployment aid from $300 to $400, The Hill detailed. 

On Thursday evening, Biden announced that he is anticipating to work with Congress and act on the legislative promptly, calling for unity as the nation facing the double whammy of the coronavirus and economic crisis.

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic
Geopolitics

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic

Vaccine Geopolitics: To begin with, the first talks with Pfizer company and other Western vaccine manufacturers to get early shipments imploded after the Trump administration restricted vaccine exports. Presently, chances are only if President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the soonest commercial purchase of Western vaccines will be possible, The New York Times reported.

The pace of Covid disease in Ukraine has eased back in recent weeks with over 7,000 new cases reported every day. Since the start of the pandemic, 19,712 Ukrainians have passed away due to the infection. Ukraine declared a nationwide lockdown beginning from this weekend.

The immunization situation has generated an information war in Ukraine, which has been stirred up by Russia. TV broadcasting pro-Russian perspectives along with politicians have blamed President Zelensky for permitting Ukrainians to cease to exist of a difficult refusal to procure medication from an enemy nation. 

The nation is already battling with a tug of war between East and West in European political issues, which has presently become a point of convergence in the geopolitics being played on the covid-19 vaccine.

According to The New York Times, Lyudmyla Boiko’s family has just had a frightening, and deadly, experience with the Covid pandemic. 

A few relatives acquired the virus, and her daughter-in-law’s mom passed away. Presently, Ms. Boiko, a 61-year-old working at the Botanical Garden in Ukraine, is profoundly stressed over her husband’s health, which has medical conditions yet has not yet contracted the disease. She is placing her faith in an immunization. 

“I don’t mind where the vaccine is delivered as long as it’s safe, “Wellbeing ought to be the priority, Ms. Boiko stated.” 

Ukraine’s situation has grabbed the attention of Russia’s state-controlled media sources, who have underlined Ukraine’s Western partner’s failure to help in the time of need and offering the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as the alternative. 

Ukraine’s leaders, who have raised concerns over the efficacy and safety of the Sputnik V instead opted for China, purchasing its first vaccine in a rushed arrangement by the end of December 2020. 

“Russia, as usual, utilizes this in its crossover battle, as a data weapon,” Maksym Stepanov, Ukraine’s health minister stated over a phone interview about the nation’s work towards immunizing its populace. “He stressed, that the vaccine issue has been politicized.” 

The Russian insult has shocked Ukrainian health authorities; however, there is little they can do to counter it without an elective vaccine stock. 

“Russia is seeking an aggressive policy for the vaccine,” Oleksandr Linchevsky, former deputy health minister stated. “It’s in Russia’s governmental interest that Ukraine gets the vaccine from somewhere else soon as possible,” he added.

Ukraine, with a populace of 42 million, is expecting to get 8,000,000 vaccine injections under the Covax program that provides middle and low-income nations. However, those doses are scheduled to arrive in March.

Before the banning of vaccine exports from the United States, Ukraine had been in talks with Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson to accelerate delivery. However, the negotiations are in process, the delivery time is deferred.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has scarcely contained his shock at his nation ending up far back in the line for immunizations in spite of its uncertain geopolitical situation.

EU regulator authorises Moderna Covid-19 vaccine
Europe

EU regulator authorises Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

Moderna Covid-19 vaccine: On Wednesday, European Union regulator authorised the use of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for the bloc. It is the second vaccine approved by the 27-member Union. The decision came amidst the rising criticism regarding slow pace of vaccination, which was required to shield 450 million population of the region. The announcement was made after European Medicines Agency gave a go ahead to the Moderna vaccine with an aim to increase number of vaccination doses available for the bloc.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “We are providing more COVID-19 vaccines for Europeans. With the Moderna vaccine, the second one now authorized in the EU, we will have a further 160 million doses. And more vaccines will come.”

“This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency,” said EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke. “It is a testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just short of a year since the pandemic was declared by WHO.”

Last month, EU provided similar authorisation to US vaccine developer Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. In case of both the vaccines, people are required to take two shots at the gap of about two-three weeks. As per the existing deal with Pfizer-BioNTech, EU would be purchasing 300 million doses. But with the current approvals granted to Moderna, EU would avail 80 million more doses, with an option to further extend the order to 80 million extra doses. Besides, Moderna gained an upper hand over rest of the vaccines as it is easier to handle, transport and did require ultra-frozen temperatures for the storage.

Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have been labelled safe to use as they both employ mRNA vaccine technology, which imply that the vaccine doesn’t contain any coronavirus. Instead, the medicine uses a certain type of genetic code which signals the immune system when it contacts a spike protein on the surface of the virus, about to attack.

Welcoming the move, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said that the vaccine authorization “will ensure that 460 million doses will be rolled out with increasing speed in the EU, and more will come. Member States have to ensure that the pace of vaccinations follows suit.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also commended the decision and wrote on Twitter that approval of the Moderna vaccine “is another important step in the fight against the pandemic. This means we have more vaccine available in the EU and can fight the pandemic faster.”

Moderna said that it was working towards producing about 500 to 600 million doses in 2021 to meet the global demand. On Monday, the pharmaceutical company said it is “continuing to invest and add staff to build up to potentially 1 billion doses for 2021.”

Emirates along with DHL prepare to distribute coronavirus vaccine in Arab region
Middle East & Africa

Emirates along with DHL prepare to distribute coronavirus vaccine in Arab region

Emirates along with DHL: As the COVID-19 immunizations are clearing the advance tests and getting authorized for use, the Arab region’s challenge is to prepare for the vaccine distribution plan.

The Arab world’s most significant transport carrier Emirates has collaborated with DHL to launch big vaccine delivery efforts before the year ends, as per company authorities. 

According to Arab News, Nabil Sultan, divisional senior VP of Emirates SkyCargo expressed that a center has now been made at Al-Maktoum International Airport, otherwise called Dubai World Central, to receive, store and afterward distribute the jab to medical facilities across the locale. 

The latest preparations started in summer when drug firms first declared vaccine trials. “We can store nearly 1,000,000 vaccines in our office under the temperature needs set by the manufacturing companies,” Sultan stated. 

As per the latest instructions, some of the vaccines require to be stored in super cold temperatures in dry ice containers. Therefore, that could be very expensive and difficult for poorer nations.

For example, the vaccine manufactured by US drug company Pfizer in partnership with German firm BioNTech, authorized for immunization in the UK on Dec. 2 and for emergency treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 12, and stored in freezing – 70 C. 

Another US drugmaker called Moderna has made its own vaccine utilizing a similar progressive mRNA strategy as Pfizer/BioNTech, which requires to be stored in cold temperatures around – 20 C. 

While, both the UK-made Oxford/AstraZeneca immunization and the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab, permitted by the UAE on Dec. 9 could be stored in the fridge.

According to Sultan, perhaps the greatest challenge is that a ton of the neighboring nations like Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Sub-continent lack the latest medical facilities and the infrastructure in terms of storage. “Hence, bringing the vaccine to Dubai and distributing it further is the ultimate solution.” 

Indeed, even developed nations are struggling for assets in preparation for the vaccine, especially for Pfizer/BioNTech shot, says Dr. Mais Absi, a researcher at King’s College London. 

“The quantity of refrigerating cabinets with a temperature of 80 degrees Celsius is restricted in European nations,” she told Arab News. “Along these lines, you can envision the circumstance in emerging nations.” 

However, with the emergence of new vaccine candidates, the authorities will in no time be able to shop around for the best vaccines as per their requirement. Furthermore, thanks to Emirates, Dubai will be a local hub for preparing for this endeavor.

Highest Efficacy Vaccine Regulatory Documents Hacked From EMA Server
Europe

Highest Efficacy Vaccine Regulatory Documents Hacked From EMA Server

Highest Efficacy Vaccine: The regulatory submission by the two prominent companies in race to get their respective vaccine candidate a go-ahead were accessed in a cyberattack, confirmed the European Medicines Agency (EMA). While this does not affect the timeline of the approvals to come in and respective dosage deliveries, it does pose a certain worry. 

EMA has not said anything explicitly about the attack but BioNtech has expressed concern over the fact that their documents were indeed accessed. Both documents pertaining to the regulatory submission of Pfizer and BioNtech were accessed. 

It is however known that EMA has made this news public in the interest of the world in order the data is not reused inappropriately. EMA is also assessing the viability of the Moderna vaccine, whose records apparently were not accessed in the cyber-attack. 

A few months back, a similar cyber-attack disturbed the trials of the Oxford University vaccine candidate. It was later discovered that indeed, Kremlin might have instigated the attack indirectly through well-known Russian cyber attackers. 

The Pfizer and BioNtech doses are both being considered the most effective in fighting the corona virus. Inoculations have already started in the UK. European Union has not been happy about Britain’s stand to go all out in the dissemination of a vaccine that had not received a full clearance from EMA anyway. 

The cyber-attack comes the day before the agency is due to update the European Parliament on the progress of the vaccine assessments.

The only big worry now is that if the documents have been downloaded or copied in the attack, they could be extremely valuable to other countries and companies rushing to develop vaccines. At the moment ,Russia is struggling to make its Sputnik V vaccine to work for its country, while the vaccine has only been tried and tested on a few participants and its efficacy isn’t effective. 

Elaborating on the risks of information being misused, Marc Rogers, founder of a volunteer group fighting Covid-related breaches, CTI-League made a media statement stating that, “When it comes to the data submitted to these kinds of regulatory bodies, we are talking confidential information about the vaccine and its mechanism of action, its efficiency, its risks and known possible side effects and any unique aspects such as handling guidelines.” Further,  ‘it can also provide detailed information on other parties involved in the supply and distribution of the vaccine and potentially significantly increases the attack surface for the vaccine.’

Why Should EU Be Vehement Of UK Emergency Vaccine Authorisation Move?
Europe

Why Should EU Be Vehement Of UK Emergency Vaccine Authorisation Move?

EU Be Vehement Of UK: The European counterparts are not happy with the way Britain has become the first western country to have fast tracked licensing of a Covid-19 virus vaccine. They feel the country has prioritized speed over the authenticity and efficacy of the vaccine, without taking into consideration public opinion.

According to EU European Medicines Agency, UK has not won the public confidence, and gone through the speedy approval route (emergency authorization), something even the European Union could have also adopted.  But “we worked on the premise that the idea is not that we’re the first to give to the world a vaccine, but the idea is to have safe and effective vaccines in the pandemic and that we can create confidence, and nothing is more important than confidence with respect to vaccines,” said German Health Minister  Jens Spahn.

UK has approved of the Pfizer and BioNTech led vaccine candidates to be rolled out into the market from next week.  Ironically, the second one has been developed in Germany itself, which holds the stance that in solidarity of being with the EU, all the nations believe in ‘moving together in unity’. 

The EU bloc isn’t happy with the way UK is calling this a win for the UK only because of their Brexit decision. They are also turning away their faces from claims that this is an historic win for the UK itself. Alok Sharma, the UK business secretary, might have carelessly claimed that the emergency authorisation was a British success story. “In years to come, we will remember this moment as the day the UK led humanity’s charge against this disease,” he said.

German Ambassador to UK, Andreas Michaelis, in a re-tweet had to set the record straight when he said, “Why is it so difficult to recognise this important step forward as a great international effort and success? I really don’t think this is a national story. In spite of the German company BioNTech having made a crucial contribution, this is European and transatlantic.”

Indeed the EU isn’t happy with the way Britain is siding for its own. But then, they should let go off Britain, as quickly as Boris Johnson has resumed a new identity and is taking all the steps he must to ensure the welfare of his own turf. 

UK approves Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, to be rolled out next week
Europe

UK approves Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, to be rolled out next week

UK approves Pfizer: United Kingdom has lodged its name in history by becoming the first country to have authorized the use of a Covid-19 vaccine. MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority) has approved emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine from next week. The 95% efficient vaccine against coronavirus will be rolled out next week for those most at risk. MHRA was given authority by government of UK to approve Covid-19 vaccine before January 1 as it gains complete power to authorize medicines in UK post Brexit. 

Pfizer has relayed of first vaccine lot to arrive in few days. UK, like many other first world nations, had bought 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine when it was showing high probability of success. These doses are targeted to immunize 20 million people in UK. Final trials have shown the vaccine to be 95% efficient with no adverse effects. 

Spokesman from Department of Health and Social Care said, “The government has today accepted the recommendation from the MHRA to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use. This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.”

Commencing next week, the vaccine jabs will be given to people in high risk category, including elderly, immunocompromised patients, and frontline workers. The pharma giant has told that 10 million of vaccine doses will soon be available. First 800,000 doses will be supplied to UK in coming days. Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech is the first vaccine to have completed its journey from concept to final approval in a short period of 10 months. It is to be noted that no regulatory step or developmental phase has been skipped in development of this highly anticipated vaccine. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson posted a tweet on the historic development “It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again.”

On the protocol of immunization to be followed next week onwards, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that people will be contacted by NHS on their turn to receive the immunization. He said, “I’m confident now with the news today that from spring, from Easter onwards, things are going to be better and we’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy.” 

Following the approval, at least 50 hospitals across the country along with vaccination centre venues are being set up for the immunization drive. NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens has said that the country’s healthcare system is preparing for “the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history.”

UK authorities have prepared a “provisional priority list” to draw in people at maximum risk of contracting the virus. These include on priority the residents and staff of care home facilities, people over 80 years of age, and healthcare and social workers. These groups will receive the first stock of jabs starting as early as next week. Experts indicate that as more stocks of vaccine would be procured in 2021, mass immunization of other groups will initiate. These will include people over 50 years and young people with pre-existing conditions. This will ensure equitable distribution of vaccine across the demography and geographies. 

The vaccine is to be given in two shots and 21 days apart. Second dose is given as a booster to the first. Experts say that it takes few days for the body to develop immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and thus the booster dose is necessary. 

The ideal temperature requirement of this vaccine storage is -70C but the firms say that for up to 5 days the vaccine can be stored in refrigerator at 2-8C temperature. This will make transportation of vaccines easier logistically.

Even after getting vaccinated people still must stay vigilant and follow all the guidelines and regulations set up by the authorities in relation to the coronavirus infection. This implies that following social distancing, wearing face masks, testing, contact tracing, and isolation on being exposed are still to be followed with utmost diligence. 

China’s COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy failing in ASEAN: Report
Geopolitics

China’s COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy failing in ASEAN: Report

China’s COVID-19 vaccine: As China tries to boost its image with COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy, ASEAN is looking for alternatives

As countries across the world are working diligently to develop a viable vaccine against COVID-19, China has been making efforts to restore its image through its vaccine diplomacy in response to widespread criticism over its mishandling of the pandemic outbreak. 

However, Beijing has faced a major setback in its strategy after ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members including Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines signed various deals for procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine with pharmaceutical companies from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Notably, China’s delay in providing crucial information related to the genetic components of Coronavirus hampered the efforts of other countries to develop a potential vaccine to tackle the virus. Coronavirus had originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in November 2019 and spread across the world within months, affecting the lives of billions of people. 

With access to all information about the virus, China benefitted from a head start in developing a potential vaccine. As soon as it achieved success in developing a vaccine against COVID-19, China offered it to other countries in a bid to bolster its diplomatic engagement, exert geopolitical influence and pursue its broader regional objectives. 

A number of senior Chinese leaders visited Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, assuring them priority access to the vaccine. Countries like Indonesia and Malaysia had also signed deals to work together with Chinese state-owned drug makers to develop the vaccines. At a time when advanced nations such as the US, UK and Australia were busy developing potential vaccines prioritising domestic needs, China stepped up its efforts to provide vaccine development and distribution assistance to ASEAN nations.

However, as per media reports, ASEAN countries have been asked to extend support to Beijing at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in barter for the vaccine in a bid to revive its goodwill. According to an Economic Times report, a reporter from China’s state-run Xinhua news agency had posted on his Weibo account that Premier Li Keqiang had made it a prerequisite for ASEAN countries to support China at the WHO for its support in combating the virus. 

Amid this development, ASEAN countries have grown cautious of Beijing’s strategy to influence the region. On Friday, Thailand and the Philippines reportedly secured millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. At the same time, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin also announced that the country has signed a deal with US drug maker Pfizer to procure its COVID-19 vaccine for 20 percent of its population amid efforts to combat the pandemic.

Notably, the vaccine race has now grown into a proxy war for dominance between China, the US and Russia, amid a global dissociation on the critical issue. The provision of a Chinese vaccine will have significant geopolitical implications. Significantly, Beijing has already offered a $1 billion loan to Latin America and the Caribbean for access to its COVID-19 vaccine. 

Meanwhile, over 150 countries have joined the COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility) initiative launched by a collaboration of the WHO, vaccine alliance Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. It aims to speed up the development, manufacturing and equitable distribution of vaccines against COVID-19 among member countries.

A big challenge for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine
Geopolitics

A big challenge for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine

A Big challenge for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine: The week commenced with a positive note as American pharma giant Pfizer and its partner German firm BioNTech announced that their Covid-19 vaccine is 90% efficient with no major side effects. The news brought good news for stock markets as the numbers raised amid hopes of return to normalcy with an effective Covid-19 vaccine. Governments across the world have started scrambling to procure, store and prepare for vaccine roll-out. But equitable distribution of vaccine to all the nations, especially poorer and more vulnerable, will pose as a major hurdle. 

The biggest challenge with this particular vaccine is storage – it requires to be stored at -70C (-94F). This is a bitter news for low economy nations, like Africa, which is already plummeting with vaccine storage infrastructure. 

Major economies like US and European Union are already on track with establishing logistics for the vaccine once it is procured by the manufacturing giant. Two huge facilities, equipped with bulk freezers have been set up in Kalamazoo, Michigan in US, and in Puurs, Belgium. These facilities will function as the central point of storage and shipping of coronavirus vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech. 

Kroll, a risk consulting firm’s Managing Director, Nick Doyle underlines, “It’s going to be a monumental challenge. We do have a duty of care for international populations. The poorer countries in the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and Asia, are going to find this challenging.”

Though the development of promising and efficacious Covid-19 vaccine is extremely gratifying, the problem isn’t solved for poorer nations of Africa and Southeast Asia who are struggling to even have one functioning vaccine refrigerator. 

Pfizer and BioNTech, post affirming more data, are planning to apply for emergency approval of vaccine in US and regulators by the end of this month, and then commence shipping to other nations by December. US has already blocked a bulk of 100 million doses, while EU has ordered for 200 million and UK 40 million. Pfizer is under process to accomplish supply of 50 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year and 1.3 billion doses by next year. The centres in Puurs and Kalamazoo have already started manufacturing thousands of doses. More “freezer farms” are on stand-by to provide storage for vaccines in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, and in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

Customized storage boxes have been prepared by Pfizer that can keep the vaccines at a maintained ultra-cold temperature using dry ice (solid carbon dioxide). These re-usable suitcase-sized boxes will be used to transport 1000 to 5000 doses and can maintain the temperature for up to 10 days. Pfizer has said that the vaccine can be then stored at fridge temperatures of 2-8C for up to 5 days. 

The custom-made boxes can be GPS tracked and also inform the Pfizer control station of temperatures being maintained in the transport trucks. Pfizer is hoping to transport about 25 lorries a day full of these boxes to enable rapid distribution from these centres to airports, moving round 7.6 million doses per day. 

Logistic firms like FedEx, UPS and DHL are also working to strengthen and streamline their operations and logistics for smooth transportation of vaccines. UPS has built storage freezer farms, one each in US and Netherlands, which can hold around 800 deep freezers and keep vaccines at -80C temperature. DHL and FedEx are also building storage units and keeping refrigerated lorries on stand-by. 

Germany has also set up 60 vaccination centres which are equipped with freezers for vaccine storage at ultra-low temperatures. 

Other Covid-19 vaccines that are being developed and are under phase 3 of clinical trials do not require such low temperatures. Vaccine by US firm Moderna can be kept at -20C temperatures, like in home refrigerators. AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine can be stored and shipped in unfrozen state. 

Following couple of weeks and months will keep governments and pharma giants Pfizer and BioNTech on their toes as they scramble to manufacture and roll out the vaccine in a most unhinged and smooth fashion to all nations in an equitable way. 

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