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Delivery for Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-vaccine has Proven Challenging

Vaccine in vial with syringe1

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security the complex cold chain logistics required for the Pfizer/BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine have proven challenging in certain settings in the first week of the United States’ vaccination operations. While the principal concern in planning for the distribution of this vaccine has been ensuring that the vaccine remains cold enough, incidents in Alabama and California demonstrate that allowing the vaccines to get too cold could also be a risk. Reportedly, several thousand doses of the vaccine shipped to Alabama and California were exposed to temperatures below the acceptable threshold of -112°F (-80°C) while en route to the state distribution centers. The issue was identified before the doses were unloaded from the truck, and the doses were “quarantined” while Pfizer and federal health and regulatory officials determine whether they remain viable. Pfizer shipped replacement doses to both states. These incidents highlight how challenges in implementing cold chain logistics can lead to wastage of vaccine doses, which could be particularly impactful when supply and production capacity are limited.

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