The European Medicines Regulatory Authority agreed on Monday to store the Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the refrigerator for up to a month, a move that could accelerate its spread in the European Union.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the refrigerator storage period for unused vials has been extended compared to the already authorized five days.
Since its introduction, the high efficacy of the Coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer has been mitigated due to the difficulty in storing and transporting vials due to the need for very cold storage conditions.
“Greater flexibility in vaccine storage and handling is expected to have a major impact on planning and logistics for the deployment of the vaccine in European Union member states,” said the Amsterdam-based EMA.
“This amendment extends the permitted storage period for an unopened thawed bottle at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (Editor’s note, that for a regular refrigerator) from five days to one month,” the agency adds.
EMA in March authorized the storage of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine at frozen temperatures between -25 and -15 ° C for two weeks, a decision that has been described as an alternative to long-term storage of vials at temperatures between -90 and -60 ° C in special freezers.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) followed in the footsteps of the FDA, which made a similar decision in February.
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