COVID-19 Vaccine Temperature Requirements Could Create Logistics Challenge

Many states in the U.S. are hinging their COVID-19 mitigation strategies on the availability of a widely available vaccine. An issue bound to arise is the extremely cold temperatures the most promising experimental vaccines need to be kept at and the logistics of delivering them across the country. 

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is estimated to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 36° to 46°F for 30 days. Longer storage means a required temperature of mRNA-1273 needs -4°F for up to six months. 

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Pfizer Notified Biden Before Trump on Vaccine Success

In an interview with WMAL radio show Wednesday morning, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared to confirm that the Trump administration learned of Pfizer’s successful COVID-19 vaccine trial from press coverage not from company officials directly. “I…learned of this from media reports on Monday morning,” Azar told “Mornings on the Mall” program on November 11. “There certainly was a gap in communications, let’s say.”

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Commentary: Was Pfizer’s Vaccine News Slow-Walked Until After the Election?

As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe in the spring, President Trump announced his plan to fast-track an effective vaccine that would be available by the new year.

The goal of Operation Warp Speed, launched by the White House in May, was “to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.” Congress appropriated $10 billion to fund the ambitious program.

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