The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer / Biontech no longer has to be stored permanently in special freezers. The quality is guaranteed for up to two weeks even at temperatures between minus 25 and minus 15 degrees.
This was confirmed by the stability data submitted and checked by Swissmedic, announced the therapeutic products authority on Tuesday. Thanks to the easier handling, the vaccine can also be administered outside of vaccination centers: in health centers, doctors’ offices or pharmacies.
The greater flexibility in the distribution, storage and administration of the vaccine could help to increase the vaccination rate in Switzerland. In doing so, Swissmedic is following the EU and a decision made by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last Friday.
In this way, new vaccination sites can be created
With the approval of the application for a quality change and the adaptation of the drug information, the vials can now be transported and stored for up to two weeks at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees Celsius and not just – as before – at temperatures between minus 90 and minus 60 degrees Celsius. Long-term storage – up to six months – must continue to take place at very low temperatures.
“With the new storage conditions, the vaccine can be distributed more easily,” said Deputy Swissmedic Director Philippe Girard as quoted in the announcement. “This approval extension comes at an important time to be able to vaccinate more people. In addition, we are creating the possibility of new injection points because cooling no longer has to take place at very low temperatures. “
Simply thaw the unopened vaccine
Previously, it was recommended that diluted vaccine not be transported between facilities. From now on, prepared vaccination doses could already be prepared for transport in the vaccination centers and carefully transported to the administration site if they are securely packaged.
The unopened vaccine can be thawed and stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for up to five days before use. Diluted vaccine can be stored for a maximum of six hours at 2 to 30 degrees Celsius. (SDA)
Published: 03/30/2021, 11:18 a.m.
Last updated: 03/30/2021, 11:42 am