Several million Americans are waiting to receive the mRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA), BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX), and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). Ultra-low temperature requirements hamper the distribution and storage of mRNA-1273 and shatter the hopes of getting a vaccine immediately to cure coronavirus.
Shares of Moderna declines on Thursday
After rising on Wednesday, the shares of Moderna declined by 3.5% on Thursday after disclosing a lower temperature requirement for transportation and storage. It closed at $67.49 (down 0.79%) at the closing hours on August 28, 2020. The shares of BioNTech also witnessed a drop of 2.42% to $64 on Thursday.
mRNA-1273 requires -4 Degrees Fahrenheit
In a briefing with CDCPAC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee) on immunization practice, the executives at Pfizer and Moderna said its vaccine needs to be stored at -4 Degrees Fahrenheit. BioNTech and Pfizer’s BN series vaccines need -94 Degrees Fahrenheit. These new temperature requirements of coronavirus vaccines make it difficult for storing at traditional pharmacies and offices.
Ultra-low temperatures can only be maintained at tertiary laboratories and hospitals. They are ideal for one-day vaccination events and cover a fraction of the patients.
A medical officer at an agency for viral diseases of CDCP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Kathleen Dooling, said the handling, distribution, and handling requirements make these vaccines unviable at local pharmacies and community clinics to store and administer. She further said these vaccines can only be administered at sites that hold adequate equipment.
Thermal shipper storages requirement for Pfizer vaccines
According to Dr. Nicholas Kitchin, Senior Director (Clinical R&D of Vaccines) of Pfizer said the coronavirus vaccines produced by it require thermal shipper storages and ultra-low temperature freezers.
Coronavirus vaccines developed by other companies require less stringent requirements for storage and transportation. According to analysts, the difficult conditions required for shipping and storing mRNA-1273 vaccines put several million at a disadvantage.
Almost half a dozen companies are developing coronavirus vaccines, which are in clinical trials. Inovio Pharmaceutical Inc. is developing a DNA based vaccine, whereas the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca develops a recombinant VV (viral vector) vaccine. Storage and delivery of the vaccines play a vital role in maintaining competitive advantage from investors’ perspective.