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Some vaccines that require a -70 ° C cold chain are not “ideal” for India: experts | India News

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PUNE: The country’s leading health experts have expressed concern about the number of cold chain facilities that will need to prepare to implement vaccines with recommended storage temperatures down to -70 ° C.
Former Director General of the Medical Research Council of India Dr NK Ganguly told TOI that most of the Covid vaccines being developed require super cold storage and can prove difficult to store and transport even for women. more sophisticated cities.
“Medical freezers that go down to -70 ° C or -80 ° C are rare even in American and European hospitals. Most, if not all pioneering vaccines today require strict cold chains, which makes them a huge challenge for India to implement, ”he said.
Concerns arise amid reports that the Pfizer vaccine, which promises 90% efficacy, will need to be stored at -70 ° C. The Moderna vaccine too, its efficacy rating expected by the end of December, needs -20 ° C to survive. Experts said these vaccines will not be ideal for developing countries.
Ganguly said the Pfizer vaccine could prove to be a “logistical nightmare” for India, with heat waves, widespread power outages and large rural belts.
“In addition, the massive pre-orders of the vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) from the UK, US and Japan will most of the time not be available to us until 2021,” he said.
Dr Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR, said that some vaccines will not be feasible for India. He said: “Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are injections of mRNA (messenger RNA) that require ultra-low storage temperatures. We do not have such freezers in our country.
Pfizer has announced that it will provide a container of dry ice that will be able to maintain a temperature of -70 ° C for up to 10 days. But it is still not logistically feasible, “he said. However, Dr. Kant said there are vaccines in development that can be stored at temperatures between -2 ° C and -8 ° C.
Health officials said the existing cold storage nets meet the requirements of three candidate vaccines, from Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila and the Serum Institute, which are being tested for disease in India. A senior central health official said the doses would require more than 16,000 cold chain storages.

Times of India

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