The Pfizer COVID vaccine jab can now be stored at a fridge temperature. The European Union’s drug regulator has said for much longer than it previously recommended.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said unopened vials could be kept fridge once the vaccine thawed. Adding that it would be safe to use them for up to a month. One can store it at a normal temperature of 35 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 31 days.
German developer BioNTech makes the vaccine along with the United States pharma giant Pfizer. It said that the EMA had made the decision based on the new information it has supplied.
EMA’s human medicine committee (CHMP) has recommended a change to the approved storage conditions. The change was approved following the assessment of additional stability study data. The data that was submitted to EMA by the marketing authorization holder, EMA said on Monday.
In March, the EMA said, however, that the jab could be stored in regular freezers. It was before allowing it to remain for fridges for short periods of time. The previous limit of keeping these as such is just five days.
The greater than before suppleness is expected to have a significant impact on the vaccine rollout across the European Union.
The need for storage at a very low temperature and transport has been a drawback of the Pfizer jab.
Due to the previous requirements for Pfizer vaccines, it was harder to use them in some part of the world.
Previous temperature standards
In February, the US approved storage and transport for the Pfizer vaccines at standard freezer temperatures. It could be stored at -15 to -25C as opposed to between -80 to -60C that it usually requires. Also, the span for storing the jab was for up to two weeks.
Earlier this month, Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15. Moreover, it became the first country to do so. The country’s health ministry decided based on data from phase three clinical trial on children of that age.