Pfizer and BioNTech have produced this new COVID-19 vaccine. Recent data show that the vaccine can remain effective if stored for a fortnight at average freezer temperatures. This has dramatically eased the distribution of the vaccine in the United States and all over the world.
This analysis also recommends the vaccine’s first dose to prevent COVID-19 effectively. The first dose is 92.6% efficient, compared to both doses, which are 95% efficient as claimed by two researchers from Canada. As the researchers argue, the results should be used to think better of the distribution of limited vaccine supply.
According to the FDA, Emergency Use Authorization by Pfizer/BioNTech, – 70°C is the ideal temperature to store the vaccine. However, this temperature requires expensive and specialized freezers to attain. Lack of this equipment in the remote vaccination centers has created added costs and risks. Pfizer had developed an ice-cooled shipping box to maintain the required temperatures but for a limited time. Experts have warned against potential dose spoilage of the vaccines stored using this low technology method.
However, various companies’ new data show that the vaccine’s effectiveness can stay up to two weeks if store between -15°C and -25°C. This temperature can be achieved by the use of standardized medical storage freezers. Before changing any ground distribution methods, these changes have to wait for Emergency Use Authorization approval despite the data’s submission to the FDA.
Experts expect Pfizer to pursue approval for less strict storage requirements since the initial conditions resulted from a compressed development schedule. Further research and testing before loosening these requirements are recommended.
According to their findings, researchers Gaston De Serres and Danuta Skowronski claim that second doses can be deferred. All prioritized members get one amount first to maximize the scarce vaccine supply benefits. The United Kingdom has tried this approach to speed up vaccinations achieving a worldwide third-highest vaccination rate of the first dose.
The new data must pass through U.S. regulatory channels before changing the vaccine’s distribution. However, the period in which the first dose’s immunity lasts before the second dose injection is uncertain. The second dose reinforces what is learned by a recipient’s immune system from the first dose.