Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)
The first days of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout have seen unexpected hitches including some vaccines being stored at excessively cold temperatures and Pfizer reporting potential challenges in its vaccine production, US officials said on a Wednesday press call.
At least two trays of COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered in California needed to be replaced after their storage temperatures dipped below minus 80 Celsius (minus 112 Fahrenheit), US Army General Gustave Perna said on the call. Pfizer’s vaccines, made with partner BioNTech SE, are supposed to be kept at around minus 70C.
Officials are investigating whether storing the vaccines at excessively cold temperatures poses a safety or efficacy risk, he said.
Pfizer also has reported some production issues, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said.