Story at a glance
- Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is launching a shipping and storage program across four states to ensure temperatures can be maintained for vaccine purity.
- The company reported a 90 percent efficacy rate last week from trial data.
A week after the pharmaceutical company revealed optimistic data regarding the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Pfizer has launched a delivery program to alleviate the accompanying temperature storage challenges.
Pfizer made headlines as one of the first major pharmaceutical companies to have data from clinical trials exhibiting a 90 percent efficacy rate in preventing a COVID-19 infection.
Reuters reports that this trial delivery program was established to help get the vaccine distributed across multiple locations while remaining at its necessary temperature.
The vaccine reportedly must be consistently stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit), which is well below the standard for vaccines of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit).
"We are hopeful that results from this vaccine delivery pilot will serve as the model for other U.S. states and international governments, as they prepare to implement effective COVID-19 vaccine programs," Pfizer told reporters in a statement Monday.
The four states to receive initial deliveries of the vaccine include Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico and Tennessee. Reuters notes that these locations were selected based on their size difference, population diversity, urban and rural sprawl of residents, and vaccine infrastructure.
These states will only serve as pilots to gauge how well the vaccine can travel across a range of geographic landscape and will not receive preferential treatment by the vaccine company, namely with a first round of dosages.
Developed in conjunction with BioNTech, Pfizer’s vaccine candidate could have help with distribution from the Trump administration through Operation Warp Speed.
Notably, however, Pfizer and BioNTech did not accept any federal funding when creating the vaccine. It did strike a deal to supply the U.S. government with the first 100 million doses of the vaccine, pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Pfizer reportedly plans on filing for the emergency use authorization designation, likely around the third week of November and as more trial data emerges.
Other drug manufacturers released good news along with Pfizer; Moderna Therapeutics, another candidate in Operation Warp Speed, reported their vaccine has a 94.5 percent efficacy rate, based on interim trial data.