BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine can be stored for two weeks at higher temperatures

Orange with Media Services, published on Friday February 19, 2021 at 7:08 p.m.

Data submitted by the two laboratories this Friday, February 19 “demonstrate the stability of the vaccine” when it is stored between -25 and -15 degrees, the temperature of common medical freezers.

Good news for logistics. According to data published this Friday, February 19 by BioNTech and Pfizer, the vaccine against Covid-19 developed by these two laboratories can be stored for two weeks at temperatures higher than those currently prescribed, which could clearly facilitate its distribution.

The two companies today submitted data to the US regulator FDA that “demonstrates the stability of the vaccine” when stored between -25 and -15 degrees, the temperature of common medical freezers.

A logistical obstacle

For this vaccine, one of the three used in the EU, transport and storage are currently conditioned to maintain freezing temperatures between -80 and -60 degrees, requiring the use of specialized containers, representing the main logistical obstacle in the distribution of the product based on messenger RNA technology.

The new storage rules “could facilitate the management of our vaccine in pharmacies and allow greater flexibility in vaccination centers”, commented Ugur Sahin, boss and co-founder of BioNTech, based in Mainz, Germany.

BioNTech and Pfizer are working on “new formulas”

While long-term storage (up to six months) will still have to be at the same freezing temperatures, BioNTech and Pfizer are asking the FDA to allow storage for two weeks between -15 and -25 degrees. This period would be in addition to the possibility of keeping the product in a normal refrigerator (between +2 and +8 degrees) for five days.

Another vaccine based on mRNA technology, Moderna’s, can already be stored for six months at -20 degrees and remain stable in the conventional refrigerator for 30 days.

BioNTech and Pfizer are also working on “new formulations that could make our vaccine even easier to transport and use,” Ugur Sahin added.

One million people fully vaccinated in France

On Thursday, France passed the million mark on Thursday having received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, while the circulation of the virus is still intense with more than 22,000 positive cases, according to figures from Public Health France (SpF ).

This Friday, exactly 1,132,918 French people have now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 since the start of the campaign launched at the end of December and 2,535,436 people have received at least one dose of vaccine, said the Directorate General of Health.

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