The world recently celebrated American pharmaceutical giant Phitzer and the German firm BioNTech’s announcement that the first trial of a coronavirus vaccine proved to be 90 percent effective. But the news came with a caveat that the promising vaccine must be stored in an ultra-low temperature freezer at -70 degrees Celsius. The temperature is well below what typical freezers, even medical grade ones, can achieve. At anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 for a special freezer, the cost combined with surging demand may put rural hospitals in low-income areas at a serious disadvantage in the race to obtain vaccines as they are distributed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised state health departments against purchasing ultra-cold freezers saying other vaccines with less demanding storage requirements will be available soon. But some hospitals in metropolitan areas are already placing multiple orders for freezer units, potentially leading to surging prices and scarcity.

You can read more courtesy of STATnews here: