Iraq grants emergency approval for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Update Iraq grants emergency approval for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
One concern about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is that it must be stored and shipped at ultra-cold temperatures. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 December 2020

Iraq grants emergency approval for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Iraq grants emergency approval for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
  • The Minister of Health Hasan Al-Tamimi has said earlier that the country will receive the vaccines soon
  • Iraqi official said storage facilities were part of the deal with Pfizer

DUBAI: Iraq’s National Medicine Selection authority gave on Sunday emergency approval for the use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, state news agency INA reported.
The Minister of Health Hasan Al-Tamimi has said earlier that the country will receive the vaccines soon along with special equipment needed to store it.
“The special storage equipment will also be part of the deal,” Al-Tamimi told INA.
One concern about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is that it must be stored and shipped at ultra-cold temperatures of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit), adding to the challenge of distributing the vaccine around the world.
Pfizer says it has developed shipping containers that use dry ice to keep the vaccine cool. GPS-enabled sensors will allow the company to track each shipment and ensure they stay cold, the company says.
“Pfizer has vast experience and expertise in cold-chain shipping and has an established infrastructure to supply the vaccine worldwide, including distribution hubs that can store vaccine doses for up to six months," the company said in a statement.