TORONTO — Health Canada announced new guidelines that allow for the Pfizer vaccine to be stored at regular refrigerator temperatures for up to a month.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was the first authorized for emergency use in Canada but also the most difficult to store, initially requiring refrigeration at ultra-low levels from -80 C to -60 C, with thawed vials expiring after one week. New guidelines allow for the vaccine to be stored at regular refrigeration temperatures, between 2 C to 8 C, for up to 31 days.
“This change means that there will be more storage options available for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which will allow for more flexibility in distribution plans,” Health Canada said in a press release.
This isn’t the first change to the temperature guidelines for Pfizer. On March 3, Health Canada approved storage at temperatures between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks.
Health Canada received the application for the temperature change from Pfizer BioNTech on May 10, and that they will continue to monitor the vaccine rollout closely for any concerns.
“Health Canada will continue to monitor the safety, efficacy and quality of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, along with all other COVID-19 vaccines, and will not hesitate to take action if any concerns are identified.”