Publish: 16 Nov 2020, 01:24 pm
The coronavirus vaccine being produced by Sanofi will not have to be super-cooled and a normal refrigerator will suffice, said French drug manufacturer Olivier Bogillot on Sunday.
His remarks came days after the discovery by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech that their vaccine had been shown to be 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 infections in ongoing Phase 3 trials involving more than 40,000 people, reports AFP.
The companies said they plan to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
However, Pfizer vaccine must be stored at-70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit) or else it falls apart, well beyond the capacity of most hospital freezers, let alone domestic appliances.
Rachel Silverman, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, has already warned that maintaining the Pfizer vaccine’s “ultra-cold chain” from factory to patients’ arms constitutes “an enormous logistical challenge even in the West”.
“Our vaccine will be like the ‘flu vaccine, you can keep it in your refrigerator,” this avoiding the problem, Bogillot told the CNews channel.
“This will be an advantage for some countries,” he added.
Sanofi vaccine, one of many in progress, will be available for distribution next June, Bogillot said.
The results of Phase 2 experiments involving hundreds of people will be made public at the beginning of December, he said. If these results are optimistic, phase 3 trials involving thousands of people would start alongside mass production.
Eleven of the vaccines under development have already started phase 3 trials.
The Pfizer vaccine is a little more advanced" in the production process, Bogillot said, but one laboratory would not be able to provide doses to the entire world.
“We will need to have several winners at the end of this race.”
The Sanofi product will also be made avaiable at an “affordable” price he said, without giving details.