US pharma giant Pfizer, which sought permission from India's drug regulator for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine, has clarified how it will go about the storage process of the jab. The company has become the first pharmaceutical firm to approach DGCI (Drugs Controller General of India) seeking an EUA for its coronavirus vaccine in India.
The American pharmaceutical corporation said that it has "developed detailed logistical plans and tools to support effective vaccine transport, storage, and temperature monitoring," as mentioned in a report in NDTV. Pfizer told the news site that it will use different options for storage, ranging from temperature-controlled thermal shippers to refrigeration units commonly available in hospitals. The company said that the pricing of the coronavirus vaccine will depend on the doses ordered and according to advanced commitments with the government.
Pfizer's clarification comes as experts believe that storing the vaccine at minus 70 degrees Celsius (temperature) would be a big hurdle. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said, "The cold chain is going to be one of the most challenging aspects of the delivery of this vaccination. This will be a challenge in all settings because hospitals even in big cities do not have storage facilities for a vaccine at that ultra-low temperature."
The pharma company's COVID-19 vaccine candidate has reported an efficacy of 95 per cent in the third stage of trials. Pfizer was the first company in India to apply for emergency use authorisation. The company has already received emergency use authorisation in the UK and Bahrain. The application was submitted on December 4.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an all-party meeting that a vaccine is expected in the next few weeks. As soon as scientists give their nod, the vaccination drive will start in the country.