Beginning of the End

“We are living a very complex moment, but we are already beginning to see the light at the end,” Pedro Sánchez.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez , has hailed science and technology as one more element of national security, and says he is convinced that the next arrival of vaccines against the new coronavirus will be “the beginning of the end “of the crisis caused by the pandemic.

Sánchez was speaking  at the facilities of the pharmaceutical company Rovi, which is already prepared for the large-scale manufacture of the vaccine that the American multinational Moderna is developing at the time it obtains authorization from the regulatory agencies.

After touring the facilities that the company has in the Madrid town of San Sebastián de los Reyes accompanied by the Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, the President of the Government highlighted the role that science and research are playing in this crisis and that has provided a “fundamental support” for the Government.

“Although there was no scientific basis to feel invulnerable, the truth is that in the Western world it seemed to us that a pandemic was something far away”, more typical of places like Africa or Asia, something that “we did not think could happen to us here” , Sánchez said.

But the crisis has made it clear that Europe has to find joint solutions and give homogeneous answers, such as designing the celebration of Christmas, Sánchez said, “because we live in an interconnected world” that forces us to seek global solutions.

Sanchez said that until now the Executive’s priority was to achieve “a balanced coexistence” with the virus so as not to slow down economic activity and save employment, but now “it is time to neutralize it” and for that Spain has already designed a strategy of vaccination that defines the most vulnerable groups, objectives, logistics and distribution, among other aspects.

Moderna Vaccine

Laboratorios Rovi have announced that its Spanish plants are ready to start producing Moderna’s vaccine from the beginning of 2021.

The company will not manufacture the active ingredient, but will instead be in charge of producing vials, thawing, packaging and labelling the serum on a production line with which it plans to generate “hundreds of millions of doses” of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 antidote, which in clinical trials have shown an efficacy of 94.5%.

The Moderna vaccine, which works with two doses and will cost less than 30 euros, has the added advantage that it can be stored in conventional refrigerators even above freezing, while others, such as Pfizer’s, require sophisticated freezers to maintain it.

According to the strategy approved by the Government, the first to receive the vaccine in Spain will be the 2.5 million residents  and health and social health employees of the homes for the elderly and people with disabilities, who will be vaccinated between January and March.

The rest of the population will access the drug in different stages, throughout 2021.

Spain wants to obtain 140 million doses to immunize 80 million people of the vaccines that the European Commission has negotiated with seven pharmaceutical companies: so far it has closed six advance purchase contracts with Astra-Zeneca / Oxford, Sanofi / GSK, Janssen, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna; Furthermore, he hopes to sign it shortly with Curevac and Novavax.

Las Pitiusas will have three freezers for the Pfizer vaccine

The Balearic Government has acquired 15 freezers with the necessary advanced technology to preserve the Covid vaccines produced by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer-BioNTech.

Three will be located in the Pitiusas, two of them in the Can Misses Hospital and the third in the Formentera Hospital , as confirmed by the Ministry of Health.

The price of each of these freezers is 10,840 euros plus IVA. The Government announced today that the first freezers are expected to arrive in the first week of December and before the end of the year they will be installed in all receiving centres

These are devices distributed by the company Nirco, dedicated to the manufacture and marketing of health products and services based in Barcelona and Madrid. The acquired freezers are the Nuaire Blizzard model, which reaches -86 degrees. In appearance, they are very similar to a household refrigerator and each can hold up to 30,000 doses.

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, announced that in Spain vaccination for the coronavirus could begin between December and January, so it is vitally important to have the appropriate freezers , since the vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with 95% For effectiveness, it should be stored at about -80 degrees Celsius.

Doses for Balearic Islands

The Ministry of Health and Consumption expects that 120,000 doses of vaccines to prevent Covid-19 will reach the Balearic Islands. They will be used to vaccinate 60,000 people, since two doses have to be administered per person, with a period of difference of three weeks.

Doses will arrive in vials; that is, they are not pre-filled syringes, but multi-dose vials. Each box of vaccines that will be received has a capacity for 4,875 doses. In this sense, the Health Service already has a million syringes stored for vaccination.

The vaccine has a shelf life of three months at a temperature of -85 ° C. Once defrosted, they can stay up to five days in conventional refrigerators. At room temperature, the vaccine takes up to six hours to thaw.

The Council of Ministers approved on Tuesday the purchase of 20,873,941 vials from Pfizer and, as the vaccine requires a double dose, there will be a total of 10,436,970 people who may be immunized from December or January, depending on the moment in which the commercialization of this coronavirus vaccine is finally approved.

Pfizer’s vaccine is made up of RNA, a nucleic acid that is part of the coronavirus genome, and must be stored at very low temperatures so that RNA is not degraded.

For its part, the pharmaceutical company will distribute the doses to hospitals with a suitcase that can hold 975 vials that will be accompanied by ice. These suitcases will have a built-in temperature sensor and a GPS to know their location at all times.

But the Government has not only acquired the Pfizer vaccine, it has also closed agreements with other pharmaceutical companies that have developed, with considerable success so far, other vaccines that, in addition, do not require maintenance at -80 degrees.

Some 140 million doses will reach Spain in accordance with the contracts that have already been signed between the European Commission and seven pharmaceutical companies, including the Oxford University vaccine with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna, the latest to close.

As the Ministry of Health has already announced, vaccination against Covid-19 will be voluntary and free, and the citizen will have the right to know which vaccine from which pharmaceutical company is being inoculated.