Covid-19 Vaccine Storage
What is the Pfizer Vaccine?
The Pfizer – BioNTech Covid – 19 vaccine, sold under the brand name Comirnaty, is an mRNA-based Covid – 19 vaccine. It is developed by the German company BioNTec, partnered with the American Company Pfizer for clinical trials and manufacturing. The vaccine is given by intramuscular injection, requiring two doses given three weeks apart. It is one of two RNA vaccines deployed against Covid-19 in 2020, with the other being the Moderna vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine was the first COVID – 19 vaccine to be authorized by a regulatory authority for emergency use and the first cleared for regular use. In December 2020, the United Kingdom was the first country to authorize the vaccine on an emergency basis, soon followed by the United States, the European Union and several other countries globally. Globally, Pfizer and BioNTech aim to manufacture about 2.5 billion doses in 2021. However, distribution and storage of the vaccine is a logistical challenge because it needs to be kept at extremely low temperatures.
What are the ingredients in the Pfizer Vaccine?
The Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine that has both synthetic, or chemically produced, components and enzymatically produced components from naturally occurring substances such as proteins. The vaccine does not contain any live virus. Its inactive ingredients include potassium chloride, monobasic potassium, phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose, as well as small amounts of other ingredients.
Storage of the Pfizer Vaccine
Currently, the Pfizer vaccine must be stored in an ultra-cold freezer at temperatures between -80ºC and -60ºC, where it can be stored for up to six months. It can also be refrigerated for up to five days at standard refrigerator temperature (between + 2⁰C and + 8⁰C) before mixing with a saline diluent.
It is shipped in a specially designed shipping container that can also be used as temporary storage for up to 30 days.
However, Pfizer and BioNTech have recently submitted new data to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that demonstrates the stability of their Covid-19 vaccine at warmer temperatures. The new data demonstrates that it can be stored between -25 ° C to -15 ° C, temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezer and refrigerators.
Following this data, the EU and the FDA in the USA have approved these new storage conditions allowing the vaccine to now be kept at standard pharmaceutical freezer temperatures for a total of two weeks.
This update to the current storage requirements for Pfizer vaccine will address certain limitations around the deployment of the jab and could allow the easier roll-out of the vaccine in countries which lack the infrastructure to support ultra-low storage temperatures, making distribution less of a concern.
Why is the Pfizer Vaccine storage temperature so cold?
The reason why the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine needs to be kept so cold is because of the mRNA inside. Leveraging mRNA technology has been pivotal in developing a safe, effective vaccine so quickly, but mRNA itself is incredibly fragile as it gets broken down very rapidly and easily. This instability is what has made developing an mRNA-based vaccine so challenging in the past.
Fortunately, a lot of work has now gone into developing methods and technology that make mRNA more stable, so it can successfully be incorporated into a vaccine. However, the first Covid-19 mRNA vaccines will still require cold storage at around 80ºC to ensure that the mRNA within the vaccine remains stable, which is much colder than what a standard freezer can achieve. These ultra cold temperatures are only needed for storage as the vaccine is thawed before injection.
Froilabo’s Products for Vaccine Storage
Froilabo’s ultra-low temperature freezers provide a solution for exceedingly low temperature storage, which is perfect for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Our ultra-low temperature freezers, also known as ULT freezers, typically have a temperature range of -45 ° C to -86 ° C and are used for the storage of drugs, enzymes, chemicals, bacteria and other samples.
Our low temperature freezers are available in various designs and sizes depending on how much storage is needed. There are generally two versions, an upright freezer or a chest freezer with access from the upper part. The internal storage volume can generally start from an internal capacity of 200 liters up to a maximum capacity of 1,000 liters. It typically has shelves on the inside where research samples are placed and each shelf is closed by an internal door in order to maintain the temperature as uniform as possible.
Our -86 ° C range of ultra low temperature freezers guarantees maximum protection of samples at all times. Protecting the sample, the user and the environment, our low temperature freezers are manufactured to European standards which means an energy efficient performance saving you money and helping to keep environmental emissions low.
With unbeatable value for money, the Trust low temperature range of freezers is ideal for long-term sample storage. The proposed volumes range from 340 to 690L.
The Trust range has been designed for maximum safety thanks to a robust design, offering easy maintenance and compliant with new F-Gas environmental regulations.
Get in Touch for More Information
To find out more about the low temperature freezers that we offer at Froilabo or to inquire about an Ultra low temperature freezer for the storage of a Covid-19 vaccine, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.
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