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BioNTech-Pfizer: Delivery of COVID-19 vaccine to eight EU countries delayed

The supply of COVID-19 vaccine to eight European countries has been postponed due to logistic problems.

Spanish health ministry said on Monday that BioNTech-Pfizer had postponed the delivery of its new batches of COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement, the Spanish health ministry said the hold-up was due to a “problem in the loading and shipment process” at BioNTech-Pfizer plant in Belgium.

Apart from Spain, the other seven European nations affected have not been disclosed.

Health Minister Salvador Illa told Spanish radio network SER that the delay was due to a problem “linked to the control of the temperature” of the shipments which was “apparently fixed,” DW reported.

The COVID-19 vaccine is stored at nearly -70 degrees Celsius (-112°F) before shipping and must be sent to distribution centres in specially designed cool boxes filled with dry ice. On arrival, it must be kept at 2°C to 8°C for it to remain effective for up to five days.

Several German cities have also experienced similar delays in receiving and administering coronavirus vaccinations after several temperature trackers showed that some BioNTech-Pfizer shots may not have been cold enough due to inconsistencies in the cold chain. “When reading the temperature loggers that were enclosed in the cool boxes, doubts arose about the compliance with the cold chain requirements,” Bavaria’s district of Lichtenfels said in a statement.