In a statement on Friday, the pair claim that their jointly developed Covid-19 vaccine can actually be stored safely between -25ºC and -15ºC – a substantial change from the -80ºC and -60ºC temperatures previously thought necessary.
The companies said they have shared their new data with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“If approved, this new storage option would offer pharmacies and vaccination centers greater flexibility in how they manage their vaccine supply,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer.
Under current guidance, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, and the extreme requirement has impacted the jab’s usage in many countries around the world, as the necessary cold-chain capability is not universally available.
In early November, Pfizer’s jab became the first COVID-19 vaccine candidate to release its complete phase three trial data. The shot is now widely used around the world.
The company has vowed to help deliver doses to poorer nations, but UNICEF has warned that many countries face challenges storing the solution at such ultra-cold temperatures and quickly administering the shots once they arrive.
Header: A refrigerator suitable for the storage and the transport of the Pfizer vaccine at a minus 80 degrees Celsius temperature, at the Desmon SPA company laboratory in Nusco in Campania region on November 27, 2020. (Tiziana FABI / AFP)