Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine needs to be stored and distributed at About -70°C, requiring countries importing it to have ultra-cold chain capabilities.
That is a potential impediment for countries including some in Africa with weak public health systems.
“We have experience in distributing, storing and administering the vaccine in our phase 3 trial sites around the world (including SA) so we already know that the processes we are using work, and patients are able to be dosed at the points of vaccination,” Pfizer said.
SA says it has secured 20 million doses from Pfizer, with deliveries starting in the second quarter. It also expects to receive 117,000 Pfizer shots in the first quarter from the Covax facility co-led by the World Health Organisation.
“The supply that will be sent to SA and to Covax is manufactured at our site in Puurs, Belgium,” Pfizer said.