The biggest problem with Pfizer’s Covid vaccine: why it should be at minus 80 degrees C

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New details about the new Pfizer coronavirus vaccine appear every week. Unfortunately, not all of them are good, even if it has a 90% success rate.

Given the success of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, there is a good chance that it will be the first to be widely distributed. In other words, it could reach Romania as well. Unfortunately, as far back as our health care system is, the chances of it being distributed in every corner of the country are slim to nonexistent.

The first vaccine with a 90% success rate in fighting the new coronavirus should be kept at -80 degrees Celsius at all times. That temperature can only be maintained with liquid nitrogen or in contact with carbonic ice, and this detail gives trouble to many countries, not only Romania.

“For now, the question is how this vaccine will reach the countries of the European Union, because the planes must also ensure this very low temperature. Then, when it arrives, the problem arises of having a distribution network to those centers where the vaccination will be done. Everyone must understand that this vaccine cannot be made in family doctors’ offices and the problem has not been raised, because it does not come packaged in such a way that it can be taken with the DSP cup, as we do in Romania ” , said at Digi24 the doctor Sandra Alexiu, the president of the Bucharest-Ilfov Family Physicians Association.

In other words, you may have to travel long or long distances to get vaccinated, a detail that will significantly jeopardize your vaccination rate. The vaccine must therefore be kept in special conditions and there will be the problem of special vaccination centers, where “only this will be done non-stop, in order to capitalize every second, because we will also be a time trial. It takes a few days from the moment it comes until it runs out “, explained Sandra Alexiu.

Although it sounds strange or complicated, the reality is that such practices are quite common in the case of vaccines. In the past, the measles vaccine was delivered frozen and had to be thawed and dissolved, after which you had a short time to administer it. For this reason, the children had to be called and vaccinated in one day, all of them.

“If the other vaccines come, which are transportable at normal cold chain temperature and can be packaged in individual doses, then they can be made through cabinets, we hope that will be the vaccine that can be given to chroniclers and those who they are people at risk. Probably the vaccine we are talking about and which comes in the first phase goes to those in the health system, who will be gathered in a center and will be vaccinated. We also went through this, when he had the swine flu, when he was vaccinated at the Matei Balş Institute. There were queues from the institute inside until the exit from the institute on Grozovici to Ștefan cel Mare in 7-8 rows. There were thousands of people standing in line and we were vaccinating on the tape, in shifts “- said Sandra Alexiu.

The reason why the vaccine should be kept at -80 degrees is related to the fact that it contains RNA, an extremely unstable molecule. In theory, there are -80 degree freezers, but they are very few in just a few labs. The conclusion is simple, Romania is not prepared for such logistical operations.


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