The coldest coronavirus vaccine in the world may have gotten a little hotter.
The BioNTech / Pfizer coronavirus vaccine – which currently must be transported at ultra-low temperatures between -80 and -60 degrees Celsius – may in fact remain stable at much higher temperatures, the two companies announced today.
New data indicates that the vaccine is stable between -25 and -15 degrees Celsius, temperatures more commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers, Pfizer and BioNTech said in a statement. They will submit this data to the United States Food and Drug Administration, and if accepted, the vaccine vials could be stored at these temperatures for two weeks.
Current ultra-cold storage needs have been a major stumbling block in transporting the mRNA vaccine, with many seeing it as less suited for widespread use in countries lacking adequate ultra-cold chains.
“We have continuously collected data that could allow storage at around -20 ° C. The data submitted can facilitate the handling of our vaccine in pharmacies and give vaccination centers even greater flexibility,” said the CEO. of BioNTech, Uğur Şahin.
Under current guidelines, the jab can be stored at ultra-low temperatures for up to six months, then at standard refrigerator temperature for up to five days. This five-day window would still apply to vials leaving storage between -25 and -15 Celsius.
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