EU regulator supports month-long storage of Pfizer vaccine in fridges
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended an extension of the storage time for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at normal fridge temperatures to 31 days from five days. It has eased logistical challenges during rollouts in the region.
The change is applicable for unopened vials, the EMA said on Monday, adding that its suggestion came after the assessment of additional stability study data submitted by Pfizer and BioNTech.
US authorities in February had approved storage and transportation of the vaccine at standard freezer temperatures of 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to two weeks instead of the ultra-cold temperatures between -80 to -60 degrees Celsius it usually requires.
The EU has allowed for ramped up production of the vaccine in the region and is eyeing a new deal to secure 1.8 billion doses of the shot after the trading block was hit by a shortage in supply of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.