The German biotech company BioNTech is working on a formula for its vaccine that would allow it to be shipped at room temperature, CEO Uğur Şahin told CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
“We are working on formulation which could allow us to ship the vaccine even maybe at room temperature and this type of development is happening in parallel,” Sahin said.
Concerns were raised that it would be difficult to distribute the vaccine BioNTech is working on with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer because it needs to be stored at about minus 75 degrees Celsius, which is about 50 degrees colder than any vaccine currently used in the United States.
Doctors' offices, pharmacies and state labs don't have freezers that go nearly that low but Sahin is now saying that is a temporary issue.
“Since the development was so fast, we were not able to work out better, more stable conditions,” he said. “We believe that in the second half of 2020 we will have come up with a formulation which is comparable to any other type of vaccine.”