Health Canada Says Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Can Be Stored in a Fridge for Longer

The latest announcement from Health Canada is prompting a major shift in the vaccination campaign

Health Canada says the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can now be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures for up to 31 days.

The vaccine was first authorized with a recommended storage temperature of between -80 C and -60 C. Once thawed, vaccine vials could only be stored in a refrigerator for up to five days. This change significantly extends the length of time the vaccine can be stored in a normal refrigerator, meaning that facilities lacking deep freezers can keep the vaccine for longer.

“This change means that there will be more storage options available for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which will allow for more flexibility in distribution plans,” reads the release.

“It just means you have a much more versatile vaccine,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital. “Because it can be stored at conventional refrigeration temperatures for a month, you can start to get this vaccine in more places.”

If other countries also adopted these guidelines, it would make a difference to the global vaccine rollout, he said. “We know that there are many low-income settings and low-resource settings that will have challenges dealing with the cold chain. And when you don’t need to have a -80 storage and you can keep this in conventional refrigeration for a month, you just can expand your vaccine programs.

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt