Pfizer to Start Testing Covid-19 Pilot Program in Texas and Three Other States
Looks like a pilot program is launching in Texas, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.
Pfizer picked these four states due to their size, population diversity, immunization infrastructure and need to reach people in both rural and urban settings. The reason for the pilot program is the extreme cold temperature that the vaccine must travel in. Pfizer says their vaccine must be stored and shipped in temperatures under -94 degrees. The average vaccine can be stored in -36 to -46 degrees.
This pilot program does not mean these four states will get the vaccine before any other state. This program is testing the shipping process to ensure the vaccine can get to these areas. The company expects to have enough safety data on the vaccine from the ongoing large scale late-stage trials by the third week of November before proceeding to apply for emergency use authorization.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech SE have a $1.95 billion deal to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to the U.S. government, which has an option to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses. Testing is still ongoing and we have a long way to go before someone like you and me can get this vaccine. Also several questions still remain.
We don’t know yet whether someone who’s vaccinated might still get infected, even if they show no symptoms, and spread the virus. As of right now this vaccine is a two shot process. One shot and then in another month you will need to receive another shot. No word yet if after that second shot the vaccine is lasting protection or if booster shots will be required.