Easier storage of Oxford Covid19 vaccine a big relief: DAK

File Photo of Dr Nisar ul Hassan

With Oxford COVID19 vaccine and one more approved for use in India, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Sunday said it was a big relief as these vaccines need easier cold storage facilities.

“The vaccines can be kept at normal fridge temperature unlike the Pfizer jab that has to be kept at minus 70 degree Celsius,” DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said in a statement issued here.

India’s drug regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin by Bharat Biotech for emergency use in the country.

“While Pfizer and Moderna vaccines need ultra-cold storage conditions, Oxford and Biotech vaccines can be stored, transported and handled at normal and standard refrigerated condition of 2 to 8 degree Celsius for at least six months,” Dr Hassan said.

“So, the vaccines can be stored in ordinary refrigerators and do not require specialized freezers,” he said. “This means the vaccines can be administered in existing healthcare system and distributed using existing logistics.”

Dr Hassan said there was also more confidence about the supply as the vaccines were locally made and would mean vaccination of more people.

“While Covishield has been found to be 70.42 percent effective in preventing COVID19 infection, Biotech’s Covaxin has also been found to provide robust immune response,” he said in the statement.