Research & Development
US FDA allows storage and transport of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine at standard freezer temperatures
26 February 2021 -

Reuters news agency reported on Friday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on 25 February 2021, approved storage and transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks instead of ultra-cold conditions.

Reportedly, the companies had asked the US health regulator last week to relax requirements for their COVID-19 vaccine to be stored at ultra-low temperatures, potentially allowing it to be kept in pharmacy freezers.

The director of the FDA's Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Peter Marks, was quoted as saying: "Alternative temperature for transportation and storage will help ease the burden of procuring ultra-low cold storage equipment for vaccination sites and should help to get vaccine to more sites."

In December 2020, the US FDA had granted emergency use authorisation to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and current label to be stored at temperatures between minus 80ºC and minus 60ºC, implying it has to be shipped in specially designed containers.

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