COVID-19: Centre makes big announcement over procurement of Pfizer vaccine


The Centre on Tuesday (November 17) said that it is a big challenge to arrange the cold-chain needed to store coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Pfizer. It is to be noted that the vaccine developed Pfizer needs to be stored at a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius. 

NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul, however, said that the Centre is currently examining the possibilities if at all the vaccine developed by Pfizer has to be obtained by India. Kaul, who is also the head of the National Task Force on COVID-19, said a scheme on distribution of COVID vaccine across the country is currently in its final stages of preparation.

Paul noted that the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine will not arrive in India soon. “The arrangement of cold-chains for storing the vaccine developed by Pfizer at a low temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius is a big challenge and it will not be easy for any nation. But then, if at all it has to be obtained, we are examining what we need to do…and will work out a strategy,” he said.

Talking about the vaccine candidates of Moderna and Pfizer, Paul said, “We are watching the developments. They have announced the preliminary results and have not got the regulatory approvals.”

Kaul also said that five vaccines are currently under different phases of trial in the country and it is expected that all these vaccines will show positive results. He noted that doses of these vaccines will be available in sufficient numbers.

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Meanwhile, US-based pharma giant Moderna announced on Monday that its candidate for Covid-19 vaccine is nearly 95% effective in preventing the deadly viral disease. The company also said it will produce 20 million of vaccines doses by 2020-end. Earlier, Pfizer had announced that it is planning to produce around 50 million vaccine doses in 2020.

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