The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is no longer required to be kept at ultra-freezing temperatures and can be safely stored inside a normal medical freezer – making distribution easier, the firm said in a report on Friday.
Manufacturers of shots, including German biotechnology firm Biotech, have discovered that the dose can remain between 5 and -13 degrees Fahrenheit without deterioration – instead of -94 degrees as before. According to the financial times.
BioNtech CEO Ugur Sahin said the ability to store life-saving jabs at high temperatures gives vaccine delivery centers “more flexibility” and makes them “easier to transport and use”.
The new vaccine “stability data” revealed by the companies has now been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Pfizer’s landslide vaccine was the first to be approved in the US and Europe last year. But in November, experts warned that the vaccine could become a nightmare to distribute due to sub-zero storage temperatures.
Companies involved in shipping the shots have complained that the government has failed to consider temperatures related to the “last mile” delivery challenges.
The need to store and transport the vaccine at ultra-freezing temperatures has delayed its rollout, especially in remote areas without so-called “cold-chain” infrastructure.