Experts: many countries may face problems in transportation of COVID-19 vaccines
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Mass vaccination began in Russia and Great Britain from the second week of December. If in the Russian Federation the population begins to be vaccinated with Sputnik V, then in the United Kingdom at this stage a joint product of Pfizer (USA) and BioNTech (Germany) is used.
The Sputnik V vaccine must be stored at a temperature of -8 degrees (liquid form) and from +2 to +8 degrees (powder). The product from Pfizer and BioNTech requires much lower temperatures: -70.
Transportation of drugs by airplane and trucks in large volumes can face problems due to the need to comply with the temperature regime. Its violation, as experts say, can affect the effectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19.
In this context, the following points stand out.
Firstly, an increase in the temperature inside a car or plane, even by half a degree for half an hour, will lead to the fact that the “thawed” batch of vaccine will have to be destroyed.
Secondly, when transporting pharmaceutical products, airlines use containers with cooling materials (dry ice). However, some of them lack the function of temperature control, which increases the risk of unforeseen circumstances during storage of products (for example, flight delays).
It is noted that only a limited amount of dry ice can be transported on airplanes, since when it melts, it turns into carbon dioxide, which displaces breathable air on board.
According to experts, the best way to transport the vaccine is to use thermal containers that maintain the set temperature for up to 4 days. However, this does not allow the delivery of goods in the required (large) volumes.
According to a study by the International Air Cargo Association, currently only 15% of industry participants are ready to transport vaccines against COVID-19 in compliance with a temperature regime of -70, while about 60% can comply with less strict requirements (-20 degrees).
In general, as experts suggest, despite the beginning of mass vaccination of the population, many countries may face problems with the transportation of drugs, which, in turn, will not allow the expected number of people to be covered with vaccination in the first months.