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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be stored in refrigerator for a month, U.S. says

CoronavirusMay 20, 2021 10:12AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A supply of Pfizer's vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is seen at Dekalb Pediatric Center, after it is authorized in Georgia for ages over 12 years, in Decatur, Georgia, U.S. May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

(This May 19 story corrects first paragraph to say "refrigerator", not "freezer")

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized storage of Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and German partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX)'s COVID-19 vaccine at standard refrigerator temperatures for up to one month, in an effort to make the vaccine more widely available.

Unopened, thawed vials of the vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for up to a month, up from a previous maximum limit of five days.

"This change should make this vaccine more widely available to the American public by facilitating the ability of vaccine providers, such as community doctors' offices, to receive, store and administer the vaccine," said Peter Marks, director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

The change is especially important for global and remote U.S. facilities that have poor transport and storage infrastructure.

In February, the U.S. health agency approved the storage and transportation of the vaccine at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks instead of ultra-cold conditions.

Earlier in the day, Health Canada said it had approved storage of the vaccine at standard refrigerated temperatures for up to a month, to allow for more flexibility in distribution plans.

The vaccine was granted emergency use authorization in December with a label requiring it be stored at temperatures between -80ºC and -60ºC (-112ºF to -76ºF), meaning it had to be shipped in specially designed containers.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be stored in refrigerator for a month, U.S. says
 

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Comments (2)
Tony Coll
Tony Coll May 20, 2021 11:09AM ET
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Sooooo somehow it can now magically be stored for longer at a lower temperature? Is this based on science, or wishful thinking? Things like that just don't change for convenience sake. Mix the vaccines, store for as long as you like, and even just get one dose if that works for you! All of these things would take years to properly study, but magically the answers come in weeks. Who is actually buying this bull??
Stephen Towne
Stephen Towne May 19, 2021 10:12PM ET
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Poison keeps better in the fridge, who would thunk
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire May 19, 2021 10:12PM ET
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Stephen, its ok to admit you are are still scared of getting a shot. Nobody likes getting shots my dude.
Marco Loureiro Silva
Marco Loureiro Silva May 19, 2021 10:12PM ET
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Vacine shot is like a head shot.
 
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