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BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine will be sent by plane or ferry to UK - exec

·1 min read

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - BioNTech will send the COVID-19 vaccine it has developed with Pfizer in temperature-controlled boxes to Britain by ferry or plane as it prepares to deliver the shots in the next few days, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

The comments were made by chief business and chief commercial officer of the German biotech Sean Marett in a briefing after Britain approved the vaccine, jumping ahead of the United States and Europe to become the West's first country to formally endorse a jab it said should reach the most vulnerable people early next week.

Marett said the vaccine can be transported after leaving storage for up to six hours at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius during delivery to facilities including care homes, and it can also last for five days in a normal fridge.

His comments will allay some concerns that the shots need to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, equivalent to the Antarctic winter, which may be difficult for nursing homes and other locations where the shots will be administered first.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout in London, John Miller in Zurich, Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt and Matthias Blamont in Paris; Writing by Josephine Mason, editing by Louise Heavens)