COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech can be stored at higher temperatures, according to the data submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration. The development puts an end to logistical difficulties that the coronavirus vaccine faced in several developing countries like India. Also Read: COVID-19 pandemic: Learn to live with coronavirus as new variant is on course to ‘sweep the world’
Broadview: The new findings demonstrate the stability of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine when stored at -25°C to -15°C (-13°F to 5°F) for a total of two weeks as an alternative or complement to storage in an ultra-low temperature freezer.
According to the latest release, the vaccine vials would be able to be stored at “these temperatures for a total of two weeks as an alternative or complement to storage in an ultra-low temperature freezer.” Also Read: COVID-19 vaccine: Bharat Biotech seeks approval for use of Covaxin in over 40 countries
At present, Pfizer COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine is required to be stored between -80°C and -60°C (-112ºF to ‑76ºF). Most developing and under-developed countries don’t have the ultra-cold-storage infrastructure. It can remain stored at these temperatures for up to 6 months. Also Read: We now have 4,000 new variants of coronavirus that causes COVID-19!
Currently, vaccines are transported in a thermal container that can be used as temporary storage for a total of up to 30 days by replenishing with dry ice every five days. Before combining with a saline diluent, the Pfizer and BioNTech jab may also be cooled for up to five days at standard refrigerator temperature, between 2⁰C and 8⁰C (36⁰F and 46⁰F). Also Read: EpiVacCorona coronavirus vaccine: Russia’s second COVID-19 jab has 100% efficacy in early-stage trials
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine is authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for active immunization in individuals 16 years of age and older. lso Read: Mucormycosis: A rare life-threatening fungal infection with 54% mortality rate detected in COVID-19 patients
Efficacy: The initials studies had said that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was just 52.4% effective at preventing infection after the first dose, increasing to 95% after two doses. However, a new peer-reviewed study published in the Lancet medical journal said that just one-shot of the vaccine is 85% effective and prevented about 75% of infections for up to 28 days after it was administered.
“We have been continuously performing stability studies to support the production of the vaccine at commercial scale, with the goal of making the vaccine as accessible as possible for healthcare providers and people across the U.S. and around the world,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.
“We appreciate our ongoing collaboration with the FDA and CDC as we work to ensure our vaccine can be shipped and stored under increasingly flexible conditions. If approved, this new storage option would offer pharmacies and vaccination centers greater flexibility in how they manage their vaccine supply.”