The drugmaker has kicked off a pilot delivery program in four U.S. states -- Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico and Tennessee -- as it seeks to address distribution challenges posed by the vaccine's ultra-cold storage requirements.
Pfizer said it chose those four states for its trial rollout after taking into account their differences in overall size, diversity of populations, immunization infrastructure, and need to reach individuals in varied urban and rural settings.
The four selected states won't receive vaccine doses earlier than other states by virtue of the pilot, nor will they receive any differential consideration, Pfizer said.
The announcement comes a week after Pfizer and partner BioNTech (BNTX) - Get Report revealed that their phase 3 Covid-19 trial vaccine was more than 90% effective at preventing Covid-19, and a day after Moderna (MRNA) - Get Report announced that its own Covid-19 experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective - lifting hopes that the virus which as of Monday has killed more than 247,229 U.S. citizens can be contained.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use a technology called synthetic messenger RNA to activate the immune system against the virus. However, Pfizer’s vaccine must be shipped and stored at -70 degrees Celsius (minus 94°F), posing logistical challenges.