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The world's now scrambling for dry ice. It's just one headache in getting coronavirus vaccines where they need to go

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Employees fill a clinical and pharmaceutical product shipping box with dry ice at the Va-Q-Tec AG factory in Wurzburg, Germany, on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. UBS Group AG said the complexity of the vaccine drug???s distribution may be a boon for truckmakers, logistics providers and refrigeration specialists. Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Vaccines like to be kept cool, none more so than the Pfizer candidate for Covid-19, which has to be deep-frozen. And that's going to be an issue for developing countries -- and for rural areas in the developed world.

(CNN)Vaccines like to be kept cool, none more so than the Pfizer candidate for Covid-19, which has to be deep-frozen.

The "cold chain" is just one of the challenges in distributing vaccines worldwide.

And as most vaccines are likely to require two doses, the whole chain needs must be repeated within weeks.

Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization, told CNN that "the rural and the urban areas in any country in the world are not ready to manage this vaccine today. "

It says that vaccine supply-chain officials believe less than 5% of dry ice production will be needed to support ultra-cold storage of Covid-19 vaccines in the United States and Canada.

Peter Gerber, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, told CNN that the need for dry ice "clearly reduces also the transport capacity because if you have to load more ice you can't load so much vaccine.

Pfizer says it has developed a "just-in-time system which will ship the frozen vials direct to the point of vaccination. " It will also monitor the temperature of every box being shipped.

"For the rest of the country we could use vaccines like the Chinese one [CoronaVac] https://edition. cnn. com/2020/11/11/health/brazil-vaccine-sinovac-trials-covid-intl/index. html that requires from 2 to 8 degrees which is more manageable," Málaga said.

But such programs are designed for less than a tenth of the population, and Covid-19 vaccines will need to focus on different groups, she said.

India will need "a series of waves each addressing a different group as vaccine become available," she told CNN.

"We will need to see performance characteristics of other vaccines, and their delivery requirements before making a call on what to go with," said Kang, who is also a member of the World Health Organization's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.

Finding enough dry ice is just one in a sequence of challenges to get the world vaccinated against Covid-19.

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