(Rewritten as BioNtech’s spokesperson, instead of Pfizer’s paragraphs 4-5)
Reuters, Frankfurt, December 27-Germany’s coronavirus vaccination campaign faced delays in multiple cities on Sunday after temperature trackers showed that about 1,000 injections of BioNTech and Pfizer were not kept cold enough during transportation.
“When reading the temperature recorders installed in the refrigerator, people have questions about whether they meet the cold chain requirements,” the Lichtenfels region in the northern part of Germany̵
A spokesperson for Lichtenfels said that medical staff found that the temperature in a vaccine transport refrigerator had risen to 15 degrees Celsius, which was higher than the manufacturer’s maximum temperature of 8C. He added that his area has not yet received BioNtech’s advice on how to proceed.
BioNtech said in a statement that it is responsible for transportation to 25 German distribution centers, and federal state and local authorities are responsible for transportation to vaccination centers and mobile vaccination teams.
“This is where the temperature changes. A BioNTech spokesperson said: “We are contacting many authorities to provide advice, but it depends on how they proceed. “
In a speech in December, BioNtech once said that after taking the vaccine out of the freezer, it can be stored at a temperature of 2-8C for up to 5 days before use, and for up to 2 hours at a temperature of up to 30C. .
Vaccines using the new so-called mRNA technology must be stored at an ultra-low temperature of approximately -70 degrees Celsius (-112°F), and then transported to a specially designed refrigerator with dry ice before being sent to a distribution center.
Once exited from ultra-low temperature storage, the vaccine must be kept at a temperature of 2C to 8C to maintain a validity period of up to five days. Pfizer designed the refrigerator with GPS tracker so the company can deal with potential storage problems on the way.
A spokesperson for Lichtenfels said that the temperature problem affected 1,000 guns in the city and northern Bavaria’s Coburg, Kronach, Kulmbach, Hof, Bayreuth and Unsi Del District is waiting for the news of BioNTech, whether it can still be used.
“Vaccination against the coronavirus has nothing to do with who gets the fastest vaccine or who gets the most dose. The chief executive of the Hof district, Oliver Baer, said that safety and serious work benefit the public.
The European Union launched a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Sunday, with pensioners and medical staff waiting in line to take the first shot to prevent a pandemic that caused a severe economic recession and claimed 1.7 million lives worldwide .
Delays in Germany highlight the challenge of launching vaccines, while regulators are reviewing approvals for other vaccines, including vaccines made from Moderna and AstraZeneca that are easy to transport and store.
The promotion of Pfizer vaccines in the United States has been slow, which has made the government doubt the target of 20 million vaccinations this month, because the hospital is already navigating to prepare the previously frozen vaccine for use, looking for staff to come to the clinic to treat the disease, and Ensure proper social isolation.
In Germany, similar temperature issues have also delayed the start of vaccination campaigns in the Augsburg and Dillingen regions of southern Bavaria, where staff eventually obtained BioNTech’s permission to use the vaccine.
The German vaccination campaign officially started on Sunday, vaccinating residents of nursing homes. The federal government plans to distribute more than 1.3 million doses to local health authorities by the end of this year, and approximately 700,000 doses will be distributed every week starting in January. (Other reporting by Josephine Mason; editing by David Clark and Nick McPhee)