Most of the developing nations including Bangladesh don’t have the necessary arrangements for preserving and transporting coronavirus vaccine of US biotech giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, said Dr Ferdousi Quadri, a senior scientist and director of Centre for Vaccine Science, icddr,b.
However, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines don’t have these kinds of problem, she said.
There are some logistical challenges with vaccines, namely the need to store them at cold temperatures.
The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at about minus 80C, although it can be kept in a fridge for five days.
Moderna’s vaccine needs to be stored at minus 20C for up to six months and kept in a standard fridge for up to a month.
Dr. Qadri who has been working in Bangladesh, in collaboration with international and national organizations, on research related to infectious diseases and vaccine development over the last 25 years, suggested to take effective measures to bring all people of the country under the vaccination programme.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have developed two different vaccines using an experimental approaches, called mRNA, which involves injecting part of the virus’s genetic code into the human body to train the immune system.
Claiming that its vaccine appears to protect 94% of adults over 65 years old, Pfizer said, “In older adults, who are most at risk from the virus and have weaker immune systems, the vaccine worked as well as it did in younger people.”
Antibodies and T-cells are then made by the body to fight the coronavirus.
Prof Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said the full data would have to be submitted to bodies like the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for approval.
“We can expect both agencies to conduct a very careful evaluation and we can rely on their conclusions,” he said.
This process could take several weeks.