With COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, the U.S.A has become the only country with two vaccines authorised for emergency use in December, with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year. Moderna Inc. became the second U.S based drugmaker to report results pertaining to the prevention of COVID-19. The company has developed an experimental vaccine, which is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19, according to the interim data from a late-stage trial. Meanwhile, the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc is more than 90% effective. Both the vaccines are developed using messenger RNA technology and are likely to militate the effects of COVID-19 that has infected 54 million people and taken 1.3 million lives so far. Both vaccines have proven to be safe and highly effective in fighting the virus.
Storage and Supply
The vaccine storage and distribution amid unprecedented global demand are among the major concerns of leading healthcare companies. As the pandemic is once again creating a havoc in the U.S.A and some parts of Europe, pushing the countries back to lockdown, ensuring a critical supply of vaccine and working towards its distribution has become necessary. Among these vaccines, Moderna’s shot is convenient for public as it can be stored in the normal fridge temperatures from 2 to 8 degree Celsius for 30 days, and it can be stored for up to 6 months at -20 degree Celsius, therefore, it will be easier to distribute and has the potential to reach a lot of people. In contrast to Moderna’s vaccine, Pfizer requires a very low temperature, making it less convenient for people to access it. This factor has compelled the U.S. states, cities, and hospitals to buy ultra-cold freezers in order to safely store Pfizer’s vaccine. Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc has also launched a pilot delivery programme for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to address the distribution challenges owing to its ultra-cold storage requirements. Pfizer’s vaccine has to be stored and shipped at -70 degree Celsius, which is a typical temperature of an Antarctic winter. The vaccine can be stored standard refrigerator temperatures for up to five days at, or for nearly 15 days in a thermal shipping box.
Staying Alert and Vigilant During the Pandemic is the Need of the Hour
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, the vaccine is actually the light at the end of the tunnel. He has urged the citizens of America to stay alert and vigilant, continue washing hands, avoid recklessness, and maintain social distancing wherever they go. The vaccine will not come in time for most of the people celebrating Thanksgiving and end-of-year holidays, the time when family get together and friendly reunions are so common across the U.S., the exact same thing the healthcare officials warned the citizens about.
FDA Authorisation is What Moderna is Waiting for
Moderna, which is a part of the government’s Operation Wrap Speed programme for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, has fixed a target of producing 20 million doses of vaccine for the U.S this year. The company has already formulated millions of doses and is all set to complete its target and ship the shots as soon as possible. The only thing obstructing Moderna’s way is the FDA’s authorisation. According to a representative of Operation Wrap Speed, if Moderna gets the emergency use authorisation, the company will be ready to ship through Wrap Speed almost in hours. Therefore, the distribution of vaccine can be started immediately after receiving the approval. The Trump administration showed a strong faith in the development of vaccine, which is anticipated to be the best solution in response to the pandemic. The U.S government has provided USD 1 billion to Moderna as a part of the research and development funding. Further, a deal of USD 1.5 billion for 100 million doses is already in place as declared by the U.S government. The government officials and private companies will soon be distributing the vaccines - both of which were about 95% effective in major trials- to all parts of the country.