The first photographs have been released of freezers storing the UK’s supply of coronavirus vaccines, ahead of the anticipated rollout.
Initial supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are being stored in specialist freezers at a secure place in England from which they will be distributed to the NHS.
Photos released by Public Health England reveal the freezers containing the doses, which must be stored at between minus 70C and minus 80C, although no pictures of the vaccine vials were included due to the methodology associated with opening the packing.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that the vaccine doses were dispatched from Belgium by Pfizer and must go through a post-delivery quality assurance process on arrival to confirm the vaccine’s quality and integrity was maintained in transit.
The process, which could take 12-24 hours, is carried out by a specialist medical logistics company and relies upon information on the shipment temperature data being provided by Pfizer.
The DHSC said that over the following few days, each box must be opened and unloaded manually, and temperature data has to be downloaded from every box.
There are five packs of 975 doses per box, and only sites with the necessary licence can split the vaccine packs.
Once all inspections are done, the vaccine will be made available to order by authorised NHS sites – there are about 50 official sites in England so far.
The DHSC pointed out that delivering the Pfizer/BioTech vaccine is complicated, due to it needing to be stored at extremely cold temperatures and moved carefully, so it will at first be administered from hospital hubs.
Defrosting the vaccine takes a few hours and additional time is then needed to prepare the vaccine for administering and the DHSC said more than 1,000 local vaccination centres, operated by groups of GPs, will be functional soon with more being set up as more doses arrive.
The United Kingdom welcomed 800,000 doses of the vaccine in the first delivery, with more anticipated to arrive in the weeks ahead.
Stage one of the phased rollout of the vaccine will start when it’s been distributed and preparations are underway to begin administering the vaccine.
The DHSC said that once they get more vaccine and can split the large packs down, they will be able to do both bigger vaccination centres and smaller arrangments via local pharmacies.
And hopefully, this vaccine will be safe, well safe as can be, although there’s almost certainly bound to be some reactions, hopefully, they won’t be life-threatening and perhaps people should do their homework before they trust this vaccine.
And is it known if this vaccine is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women or its effects on fertility?
It’s not to say that it’s not safe, its that it’s not been proven to be safe, so no one knows if it might cause problems with fertility or cause other significant problems down the line, but then no one knows if COVID will cause problems with fertility either.
So, it becomes a choice between two worries and it should be a personal choice on whether they have the jab or not, but numerous people are fearful they will be pressurised into having it, although at the moment there’s no policy of making it compulsory in the United Kingdom.
However, let’s hope there won’t be in the future, although there’s been a push for it from people like the boss of Qantas Airlines and talk of vaccination certificates. But there will be numerous people who won’t want to be taking something that’s not been tested properly because they’ll believe it’s too risky.