Pfizer launches trial vaccine delivery program in four states

The pharmaceutical company initiated a trial program for coronavirus vaccine delivery in Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee.

Pfizer has launched a pilot program to deliver its COVID-19 vaccine in four US states as the company begins to experiment with efficient distribution processes.

Read More: Cuomo says he will sue Trump over vaccine distribution if needed

The Guardian reported the drug company selected Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee for the program for specific reasons. The four states are all different sizes, have varying populations, immunization infrastructure, and rural and urban settings. Although these regions were chosen for the pilot, the states will not have early access to the actual vaccine.

“The four states included in this pilot program will not receive vaccine doses earlier than other states by virtue of this pilot, nor will they receive any differential consideration,” Pfizer said in a statement, according to the news outlet.

“We are hopeful that results from this vaccine delivery pilot will serve as the model for other US states and international governments, as they prepare to implement effective Covid-19 vaccine programs.”

As theGrio reported, Pfizer announced its coronavirus vaccine proved to be 90% effective at preventing according to early data. The study participants included nearly 44,000 people in the United States and five other countries.

“We’re in a position potentially to be able to offer some hope,” Dr. Bill Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of clinical development, said according to the report. “We’re very encouraged.”

Pfizer is only one of two companies that recently revealed the potential efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine. As theGrio previously reported, Moderna said its vaccine against COVID-19 appears to be 94.5% effective, according to data recorded from a company study. The trial included 30,000 volunteers who either received the real vaccine or placebo. Moderna projected to have about 20 million doses prepared for the US by the end of the year while Pfizer, along with its partner BioNTech, expects to have about 50 million doses globally by the end of 2020.

“It won’t be Moderna alone that solves this problem. It’s going to require many vaccines” to meet the global demand,” said Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna.

According to NPR, while the Moderna vaccine only needs to be kept at around negative 20 degrees Celsius, the temperature of a normal freezer, the Pfizer injection requires temperatures colder than Antarctica. This could present different challenges such as cost and storage, but Pfizer is working through each hindrance by designing custom packaging.

“I believe it can be done,” said Debra Kristensen, a 30-year veteran of vaccine innovation told NPR. “Ebola vaccine, for example, was successfully used in a few African countries and also required this ultra-cold chain storage.”

The possible need for bulk amounts of dry ice have been considered by companies that sell the sometimes dangerous material.

Read More: Dr. Fauci says virus vaccine could be available for all Americans by April

“Everyone is trying to get ready, but no one knows for sure how much or how many pounds they are going to need. Right now it is like a big question mark about how we are going to handle this situation,” Gio Escobar with Sub Zero Dry ICE said to WPRI.

According to theGrio, Dr. Anthony Fauci says a vaccine could be available to all Americans by April.

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