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Graphic shows how the UK’s National Health Service is going to store the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
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HEALTH

How the first COVID-19 vaccine must be stored

By Ninian Carter

December 7, 2020 - The UK is the first country in the world to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine, but the drug must be kept at -70°C – much lower than the average vaccine.

Britain is rolling out the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, initially making the drug available to hospitals before distributing stocks to medical clinics.

The first groups of people to be vaccinated will be the over-80s, frontline healthcare workers and care home staff and residents.

In early December, in its race to start a mass inoculation programme, the UK granted emergency use approval for the shots developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The UK, with a population of 67 million people, has order 40 million doses, enough to inoculate 20 million citizens – each person needing two shots.

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is being manufactured in Belgium before being transported to the UK in boxes of dry ice. It is then distributed to hospitals where the vaccine must be stored in special freezers able to hold them at a steady -70°C (-94°F).

It is believed that 800,000 doses will initially be available when vaccinations begin on December 8.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 07/12/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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