Covid-19 immunization had to be suspended in nine Bavarian districts on Sunday over concerns that strict cold chain conditions had not been maintained during deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine.
The complicated logistics of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s distribution made for a bumpy start to the immunization campaign in Bavaria, Germany on Sunday. The vaccine has to be stored at extremely low temperatures to maintain the stability of proteins that trigger an immune response, and it needs to be used within days once it’s unfrozen. Now, concerns over cold chain integrity have put the vaccination on hold, Bayerischer Rundfunk radio has reported.
Officials in seven districts of Upper Franconia and two districts of Swabia decided to suspend vaccinations after discovering inconsistencies in records of temperature in transport boxes. Swabian authorities have since consulted the producer and decided to proceed as planned, but the situation in Franconia remains fluid.
“If there is even the slightest chance that the vaccine does not meet the quality criteria 100 percent, a batch will not be deployed,” Christian Meissner, the chair of Upper Franconian District Association, said about the decision. He added that the public expects the process to be “flawless.”