EU chills out its Pfizer rules: Boost for vaccine rollout on the Continent as regulators say Covid jabs can be stored in a fridge for up to a month
- European regulators have extended time the Pfizer jab can be stores in a fridge
- European Medicines Agency approved the change from five days to a month
- It should mean more sites can offer the vaccine as it reduces need for a freezer
- UK regulator was unable to say whether it will loosen its own rules for storage
European regulators have extended the period the Pfizer jab can be stored in a fridge from five days to a month.
Officials say the relaxation of the storage requirements will have a significant impact on the rollout on the continent.
It should mean more sites are able to offer the vaccine as they can take larger deliveries without the need for a freezer.
The European Medicines Agency have extended the period the Pfizer Covid-19 jab can be stored in a fridge (pictured) from five days to a month
The European Medicines Agency approved the change after a study showed unopened thawed vials remain stable for 31 days at 2C to 8C.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was last night unable to say whether it would be loosening its own rules.
It stipulates that the Pfizer jab should be stored at fridge temperature for five days and must be used within two hours at room temperature.
The EMA said: ‘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 EMA is in continuous dialogue with the marketing authorisation holders of Covid-19 vaccines as they seek to make manufacturing improvements to enhance vaccine distribution in the EU.’
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was last night unable to say whether it would be loosening its own rules (Pictured: Nurse administering Pfizer jab)
BioNTech, which produces the vaccine with Pfizer, said it can be transported for 12 hours within the 31 day period and it remains usable for 6 hours at room temperature once diluted for use.
BioNTech said the formulation remained unchanged and added: ‘The extended storage period is effective immediately and accounts for all currently available and future batches.
‘The companies have already submitted a similar request to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and plan to request additional amendments with other regulatory authorities worldwide.’
The Pfizer vaccine is one of three currently being used in the UK, alongside those from Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna.
The UK has bought an additional 60million doses of the jab for use as third-dose boosters.
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