No healthcare system in the world is prepared to meet storage and transport needs cold chain of two COVID-19 vaccines currently in phase three clinical trials, including a vaccine announced Monday by pharmaceutical company Pfizer as Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Deputy Director, Dr. Yarbas Barboza.
At a press conference, he explained that out of ten vaccines in the third stage of clinical trials, two of them are using new technology “to use the genetic material of the virus” and that there is no other vaccine in the world with such characteristics.
“So no health care system in the Caribbean, South America, the United States, Europe is ready to process these vaccines because storage required at -70ºC… If countries are going to use these vaccines, they will have to prepare. The other eight vaccines, which are in phase 3, can be used with the cold chains that we find in any country today, ”he warned.
Barbosa said the Pan American Health Organization is in talks with financial institutions to strengthen cold chains in countries, as any country in the world that wants to use the vaccine will need change or get new stores keep it at such a low temperature.
However, he clarified that when the vaccine enters the vaccination wards, it does not need to be at -70ºC, as it can be stored at 2ºC to 8ºC for up to five days. “The problem will be in central warehouses and in transport, and investments are needed, but this challenge for everyone because for the first time we will have vaccines with these characteristics, ”he said.
For his part, the director of the PAHO’s Department of Infectious Diseases, Marcos Espinal, indicated that Pfizer is reaching bilateral agreements with several countriesincluding Latin Americans such as Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, and who continue to negotiate with Peru and Brazil.
The Deputy Director of PAHO highlighted the steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases in North America in most US states, some parts of Canada and some Mexican states that are seeing a surge in cases. “In fact, United States Continues To Report Record Cases COVID-19, and we hope that soon it will exceed 10 million cases of coronavirus infection, ”he warned.
However, he noted that further south “some countries and regions are doing better than others.” In the Caribbean, he pointed out that, thanks to effective disease surveillance, countries such as the Bahamas have adopted rapid control measureslike contact tracing, which keeps reported spikes in recent weeks from getting out of hand
<< In South America, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay kept transmission under control and flattened their epidemiological curves. And the cases in Argentina, where transmission peak in September and Octoberare diminishing due to better coordination between provinces, ”he concluded.