The Spanish health ministry has said that the delivery of coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer has been delayed to eight European countries, including Spain.

The health ministry said in a statement on Monday that the company informed it on Sunday night that a “problem in the loading and shipment process” at its plant in Belgium caused the delay in provision of vaccine to eight countries. However, the company did not name the countries who were affected.

Pfizer has informed the Spanish authorities that the problem has been resolved, but the next consignment of vaccines will reach on Tuesday, a day later than the scheduled, the ministry said.

Health Minister Salvador Illa, during an interview to a local radio, said that the delay in shipment was due to control of the temperature. The vaccine must be stored at ultra-low temperatures of about -70 degrees Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit). Once out of storage, it must be kept at 2 Celsius to 8 Celsius to remain effective for up to five days.

Spain is scheduled to receive 350,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine per week over the next three months.

Most European Union countries began their immunisation campaigns against the virus over the weekend, with the elderly, healthcare workers, and politicians to get the first dose.


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