November 17, 2020 - Stepping in to give the world a collective shot in the arm, Pfizer announced this week that it and BioNTech have developed a vaccine candidate that has a 90% efficacy rate. However, in keeping with the tone that is 2020, the good news did not last long.
The vaccine requires super-cold refrigeration equipment, as it must be kept at negative 70 degrees Celsius (or negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit). This level of chill is not found in many hospitals and is currently a logistical nightmare for the drug maker, hospitals, and state and local governments that need to coordinate administering the vaccine. Pfizer has developed a storage container that uses dry ice to keep the vaccine at the necessary temperature for up to 10 days, and these containers can be refilled to extend the overall storage time. In addition, the vaccine can be stored at conventional refrigerator temperatures for 5 days.
Information on Moderna’s vaccine was announced on November 16. This vaccine, which was also highly effective (94.5%), can be kept at -20 degrees Celsius. This is a level that other vaccines need for storage, so it requires less new infrastructure. Additionally, Moderna’s version can be kept in a conventional refrigerator for 30 days.
Still, both versions will be needed for the roll-out ultimately so that as many vaccine doses can be made available as quickly as possible. These challenges also create opportunities, especially for manufacturers of super-cold storage equipment such as K2 Scientific, Panasonic, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. While the need for more cold storage equipment is significant around the world, the biggest opportunities these companies have is in low- and middle-income nations that have non-existent or extremely limited cold-storage capabilities.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including Commercial Refrigeration Equipment and Global Commercial Refrigeration Equipment (coming soon). Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.