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HSA permits storing of Pfizer vaccine at standard fridge temperature for up to 31 days

SINGAPORE – The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has given the green light for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures of between 2 to 8 deg C for up to a month.

The move, which will help facilitate Singapore’s nationwide vaccine roll-out, follows a similar decision by the United States Food and Drug Administration last week.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved last December, subject to a strict set of storage conditions. These included long-term storage at minus 70 deg C, with temporary storage at refrigerator temperatures permitted for up to five days.

In February, the HSA added that the vaccine can also be stored at a standard freezer temperature of minus 20 deg C for up to two weeks.

Its latest decision to further revise storage conditions for the vaccine came “after a thorough review of the application and supplemental data submitted by Pfizer”, HSA said in a statement on Tuesday (May 25).

The thawed, undiluted vaccine remains stable when stored at refrigerator temperatures for 31 days, it added. “This will greatly facilitate the transportation and local distribution of this vaccine to vaccination centres, as well as their storage and use at the centres, which is important in ensuring the steady progress of our vaccination programme and protect more Singaporeans.”

Cartons of the vaccine typically arrive packed with dry ice in special thermal containers. The vials are then stored in an ultra-low temperature freezer.

Vaccine doses are then thawed before being diluted and injected into a person’s arm. Any diluted doses must be discarded after six hours.

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