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COVID-19: Vaccine Progress...But...

Good news is always welcome, but then there are logistics.

by Eric Holdeman / November 10, 2020

The stock market shot up on the news that Pfizer had success with their stage 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials, revealing (via a news release) that the vaccine was 90 percent effective in protecting people from the coronavirus. That is the good news, and then...

Here is the bad news. Nothing is happening any time soon to distribute the vaccine widely to every-day people. That day is many months away. There is that nasty word again — "logistics!" Besides the normal challenges of facilities to manufacture the vaccine, this particular one must be kept at ultra low temperatures. This applies to the transportation of the vaccine, local storage and then distribution to vaccine sites — there, too, it must be kept cool enough that the vaccine does not spoil and become ineffective. Note: I expect those stories to come about late in 2021 and 2022 where people got the vaccine, but the temperature control system for protecting the effectiveness of the vaccine failed somewhere along the way. It is just plain predictable!

Here is a Reuters article about the challenges, "Why Pfizer’s ultra-cold COVID-19 vaccine will not be at the local pharmacy any time soon."

Let's see where the supply chain equipment and supplies will once again break down. Are there enough dry ice suppliers available to meet the demand? Might we need to surge the manufacturing of refrigeration units to have enough storage capacity to keep the vaccine at -94 degrees Fahrenheit? I'm betting the answer to both of these simple questions is no, not enough in both cases. 

 

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