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Pfizer Covid jab can be stored in fridge for a month - EU regulator

Previously, recommendations stated it should be stored in normal fridge conditions for only five days after defrosting

18 May 2021
Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine

The recommendation that Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine can be stored in normal fridges for one month is good news for pharmacy unions in France, who have been hoping to use the vaccine in pharmacies for some weeks Pic: Marco Verch / Flickr

The EU’s European Medicines Agency has stated that Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine can now be stored for 31 days in normal fridge conditions after defrosting, rather than the previously recommended five days.

The EMA stated: “Increased flexibility in the storage and handling of the vaccine is expected to have a significant impact on planning and logistics of vaccine roll-out in EU Member States”.

The Pfizer-BioNTech is currently only being used in vaccination centres in France.

French pharmacy union USPO has been asking the government for weeks to allow Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine to be used in pharmacies. 

Earlier this month, Moderna’s Covid-19, based on similar technology to Pfizer-BioNTech’s, was approved for use in pharmacies. It will begin being administered to patients on May 28. 

Covid France: Moderna vaccine available at pharmacies from May 28

The Moderna vaccine can be stored in normal fridge conditions (between 2C and 8C) for 30 days after it is defrosted. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored and transported in normal fridges for around six months. 

France is currently administering the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in pharmacies, GP practices and other special clinics. 

Read more:

Covid France: Vaccines work against Indian variant, early study finds

Covid France: 'We are not yet safe from fourth wave' says specialist

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