Keeping Pfizer vaccine at -70 degree Celsius is a challenge for developing countries like India, says AIIMS chief

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Wednesday said that keeping Pfizer vaccine at -70 degree Celsius is a challenge for developing countries like India.

While talking to news agency ANI, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said: "Pfizer vaccine has to be kept at -70C which is a challenge for developing countries like India where we'll have difficulties in maintaining a cold chain, especially on rural missions. Overall encouraging news in vaccine research for those in Phase III trials."

Pfizer's COVID vaccine, which is believed to have 90% success rate, must be stored at minus 70 C in special suitcase-like storage boxes, sparking concerns that the special equipment needed could delay the roll out.

Pfizer, a US-based pharmaceutical company, developed a vaccine to combat coronavirus in collaboration with German firm BioNTech. The data released from the late-stage human trials of the vaccine showed that it was found to be over 90 per cent effective, Pfizer said.

While talking rising coronavirus cases in Delhi, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said: "We're seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases in Delhi. Super spreading events, which are big crowds with attendees not taking precautions must have happened here. So we need to work aggressively towards curbing this number."

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court pulled up the AAP government for relaxing norms for public movement and gatherings in the national capital even as COVID-19 cases were increasing and questioned whether it has any policy or strategy in place to deal with the "alarming" situation.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramanium Prasad said that when Delhi, as city state, was "hands down beating" Maharashtra and Kerala in the number of daily new cases in the past two weeks, what concrete steps have been taken by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to contain the spread of infection.

It directed the Delhi government to file a status report explaining steps taken by it in the last two weeks, when the COVID-19 cases have risen alarmingly, to contain the spread of the infection and listed the matter for further hearing on November 19.

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