EU regulator backs month-long storage of Pfizer vaccine in fridges

17 May 2021 - 17:08 By Reuters
EMA has recommended extending the storage time for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at normal fridge temperatures to 31 days.
EMA has recommended extending the storage time for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at normal fridge temperatures to 31 days.
Image: Denis Balibouse/Reuters/ File photo

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended extending the storage time for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at normal fridge temperatures to 31 days from five days, easing 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 °C for up to two weeks instead of the ultra-cold temperatures between -80 to -60 °C 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.  


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