FRANKFURT: German company BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer said Friday that tests have shown their coronavirus vaccine can withstand warmer temperatures than initially thought, which could simplify complex cold chain logistics.
The companies said they have asked the US Food and Drug Administration to allow the vaccine to be stored for up to two weeks at -25 to -15 degrees Celsius, temperatures common in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.
Under current guidelines, the BioNTech / Pfizer Blow must be stored at a very cold temperature of -80 to -60 ° C for up to five days prior to use, a delicate process that requires special extremely cold containers for shipping and dry ice for storage.
“If approved, this new storage option would provide pharmacies and vaccination centers greater flexibility in how they manage their vaccine supplies,” Albert Burla, CEO of Pfizer, said in a statement.
BioNTech / Pfizer jab, based on the new mRNA technology, was the first vaccine against Covid-19 approved in the West late last year.
A vaccine from the American company Moderna soon followed, which uses similar technology but can remain stable at -20 ° C for six months and at normal refrigerator temperature for up to 30 days.
Another certified shot, developed by AstraZeneca / Oxford, uses more traditional vaccine methods and can be stored and shipped at standard refrigerator temperatures.
BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said BioNTech and Pfizer continue to work on “new formulations that can make our vaccine easier to transport and use.”
Companies have also begun testing the Covid-19 vaccine in healthy pregnant women.
The experience includes about 4,000 pregnant women in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mozambique, South Africa, Britain and Spain.
BioNTech and Pfizer said earlier this week that those in the United States had already received their first dose.
Separately, a study focused on more than 9,000 medical personnel at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv showed that the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was 85% effective against coronavirus infection between two and four weeks after vaccination.