Pharmaceutical partners Pfizer and BioNTech said Friday a new study the companies conducted indicates their COVID-19 vaccine can remain effective when stored in standard freezers for up to two weeks.
In a statement posted on Pfizer’s website, the companies say they have submitted the new data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demonstrating their COVID-19 vaccine is stable when stored at -25°C to -15°C, temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.
The new data would be a significant development. One of the initial drawbacks of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was that it was required to be stored in ultra-low temperature freezers not commonly found in standard clinics and pharmacies.
The requirement added considerable expense to transporting the vaccine and storing and distributing it in less developed areas.
The company said it submitted the data to the FDA to support a proposed update to the U.S. Emergency Use Authorization.
BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in the statement the companies’ top priority has been to make their vaccine safe, effective and available to the most vulnerable people in the world.
He said it is their hope the new data will give pharmacies and vaccination centers greater flexibility.