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Covid-19:Pfizer is preparing a powder version of its vaccine

The announcement of the preliminary results about the Pfizer vaccine was accompanied by some rather compelling news. Indeed, the vaccine will have to be stored at very low temperatures, i.e. at around -70°C. In order to remedy this problem, the laboratory is currently preparing a powder version.

A demanding vaccine

Recently, Pfizer and BioNTech announced the arrival of a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Based on preliminary results from their large-scale Phase 3 trial, which is still ongoing, the researchers reported an 90% efficacy to prevent infection. Currently, these laboratories are waiting for an emergency marketing authorization.

If this announcement appears to be good news, there is something to be concerned about. Indeed, the researchers had mentioned the need to store the vaccine at very low temperatures, between -80°C and -70°C . To prepare in terms of logistics, the French government claimed to have already purchased around 50 "superfreezers".

Covid-19:Pfizer is preparing a powder version of its vaccine

A powdered version

According to an article published by Business Insider on November 19, 2020, Pfizer has announced that it is working on a second version of its vaccine. Mikael Dolsten, chief scientist of Pfizer explains that the laboratory was currently exploring several possibilities with regard to a new generation of vaccines. The interested party mentioned in particular a powder version of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which should be launched in 2021.

This powdered vaccine could represent a very interesting alternative solution insofar as it does not need to be subjected to extreme freezing. It could therefore fit easily into the medical supply chain. Such a vaccine could also be of interest to countries that cannot afford the necessary superfreezers. The problem also concerns the developed countries because they have embarked on the race for these very expensive devices.

However, this concern about storage temperature might of the first version of the vaccine is exaggerated. An article published by New Scientist on November 12, 2020 gave the floor to Thomas Madden, CEO of Acuitas Therapeutics. the person referred to as "excessive precaution" about -70°C and claimed that there is "no technical temperature limit" . According to some experts, the Pfizer vaccine could withstand -20°C for two weeks, and even 2°C to 8°C for five days! Thomas Madden had especially recalled that Pfizer developed its vaccine so quickly that the usual stability tests have not been performed.