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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

February 25, 2021

FDA Approves Storage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at Higher Temperatures

On February 25, 2021, the FDA announced that it will allow undiluted frozen vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be stored at higher temperatures. Previous authorization required the vaccine to be stored at ultra-low temperatures, between -80°C and -60°C, which requires specially designed shipping containers. The modified authorization may allow the COVID-19 vaccine to be stored in pharmacy freezers.

The change was made after Pfizer Inc. submitted data demonstrating that undiluted vials of the vaccine remain stable for up to two weeks at standard freezer temperatures. The FDA notes that this alternative temperature for storage is not applicable to the storage of thawed vials before dilution or the storage of thawed vials after dilution.

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