COVID-19 vaccines will be stored in secret locations to prevent theft

COVID-19 vaccines will be stored in secret locations to prevent theft as Pfizer plans to deploy GPS software to track distribution and dummy shipments to confuse criminals

  • Vaccine candidate Pfizer Inc. is among the vaccine makers that will have GPS software on shipments 
  • The company is also planning to carry out fake shipments in dummy trucks in a bid to confuse any potential thieves 
  • The safeguards are being put in place amid concerns that the highly-awaited vaccines could be stolen when being distributed 
  • Health authorities fear criminal rings will try and steal the vaccine when it is being given to prioritized groups and before it is made publicly available
  • Moderna, another maker, says it has enhanced security as the leading candidates inch closer to having a vaccine 

Pharmaceutical companies and health authorities will store COVID-19 vaccines in secret locations to prevent theft as vaccine makers plan to deploy GPS software to track distribution and plot fake shipments to confuse criminals. 

Pfizer Inc. is among the vaccine makers that will have GPS software on shipments, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The company is also planning to carry out fake shipments in dummy trucks in a bid to confuse any potential thieves. 

The safeguards are being put in place amid concerns that the highly-awaited vaccines could be stolen when being distributed. 

Health authorities fear criminal rings will try and steal the vaccine when it is being given to prioritized groups like health care workers and before it is made publicly available. 

Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and health authorities will store COVID-19 vaccines in secret locations to prevent theft as vaccine makers plan to deploy GPS software to track distribution and plot fake shipments to confuse criminals

Moderna, another maker, says it has enhanced security as the leading candidates inch closer to having a vaccine.  

‘You are going to have people that will want to have access to the vaccine earlier,’ said Juan Andres, who is Moderna’s chief of technical operations. 

‘I do think that the vaccine needs to be protected.’ 

Glass maker Corning Inc., which was given federal funding earlier this year to boost manufacturing of vials to store COVID-19 vaccines, will fit its vials with black-light verification to stamp out potential fake treatments.  

There are also a number of other safeguards being considered across the country to protect the vaccine.

Manufactures in some states plan to ship the vaccine straight to hospitals and other approved sites to prevent road stops.

Empty dummy trucks and GPS locators are also an option.

The safeguards are being put in place amid concerns that the highly-awaited vaccines could be stolen when being distributed

Some hospitals are also increasing security within their pharmacies.

Philadelphia’s Jefferson Health hospital system has already committed to installing security cameras, cages and keypad authorizations for freezer rooms where the vaccine will be stored.

It comes as a Food and Drug Administration meeting on COVID-19 vaccines that is scheduled for Thursday will discuss criteria for allowing emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc and AstraZeneca could provide early analyses of late-stage trials of their experimental vaccines as early as this month or the next.  

The FDA earlier this month told coronavirus vaccine developers it wants at least two months of safety data before authorizing emergency use, a requirement that likely pushes any U.S. vaccine availability past the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The meeting, which is open to the public for comments, is another example of steps health regulators are taking to assuage public distrust related to coronavirus vaccines, that are being developed at unprecedented speed.

There are no approved vaccines for the coronavirus, except two in Russia that are yet to finish Phase 3 clinical testing.

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