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FDA approves storing Pfizer vaccines in standard freezers

Christian Fernsby |
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved the transportation and storage of COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech at temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers for a period of up to two weeks.

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“This reflects an alternative to the preferred storage of the undiluted vials in an ultra-low temperature freezer between -80ºC to -60ºC (-112ºF to -76ºF)," said the agency in a statement.

Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said this alternative temperature allows the vials to be transported and stored under more flexible conditions.

"The alternative temperature for transportation and storage will help ease the burden of procuring ultra-low cold storage equipment for vaccination sites and should help to get vaccine to more sites," said Marks in a statement.

Pfizer requested the approval from the FDA last week.

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