Brazil receives first batch of Pfizer vaccines

Brazil receives first batch of Pfizer vaccines
Vaccine rollout in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Tania Rego/ABr

The first 1 million doses of a 100-million purchase of Pfizer vaccines have arrived in Brazil.

Different to other vaccines kept in Brazil so far, the Pfizer immunizer must be stored at extremely cold temperatures. It uses messenger RNA to turn patients’ cells into factories, producing a particular protein that sparks an immune response to the coronavirus. But RNA is highly volatile and must be kept at extremely low temperatures.

The vaccines will be stored at -85oC in Health Ministry deep freezers. When delivering to states, the federal government will transport the doses at temperatures of between -25 and 15oC — in which they can stay for up to 14 days. Until mid-April, however, states were taking an average of 17.8 days to roll out vaccines after deliveries from the Health Ministry.