Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may not require ultra-cold freezers, data suggests

Coronavirus Watch

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Pfizer and BioNTech say their vaccine can be stored in common pharmaceutical refrigerators and freezers for up to two weeks.

The companies submitted findings to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the agency to approve an official update to its vaccine emergency use information.

The data submission comes as vaccination sites face supply shortages, exacerbated by severe winter weather throughout most of the U.S., making new dosage deliveries nearly impossible.

If the FDA approves Pfizer and BioNTech’s research, “this new storage option would offer pharmacies and vaccination centers greater flexibility in how they manage their vaccine supply,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

As of now, maintaining the Pfizer vaccine requires vaccination sites to keep ultra-cold freezers at temperatures between minus 80 degrees C and minus 60 degrees C (minus 112 degrees F to minus 76 degrees F) for storage up to six months, according to the companies.

“We will continue to leverage our expertise to develop potential new formulations that could make our vaccine even easier to transport and use,” said BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin.

The vaccine may also be refrigerated for up to five days at standard refrigerator temperature, between 2 degrees C and 8 degrees C (36 degrees F and 46 degrees F) before it is mixed with a saline diluent.

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