Washington, February 26: The US FDA on Thursday relaxed the storage requirements for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US drug maker Pfizer Inc in collaboration with Germany's BioNTech SE, quashing one of the biggest drawbacks it. The vaccine can be now stored at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks as opposed to ultra-cold conditions, after the nod given by the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine's First Shot Reduced Infection Rates by 70% in Healthcare Workers, 75% in Elderly in UK: PHE.

“Alternative temperature for transportation and storage will help ease the burden of procuring ultra-low cold storage equipment for vaccination sites and should help to get vaccine to more sites,” Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research told the Reuters. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is presently being stored at temperatures ranging between -80 Degree Celsius to -60 Degree Celsius. Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Effective Against New Coronavirus Variant Found in Britain and South Africa: Study.

Owing to the extremely low temperature required for its storage, the coronavirus vaccine has to be transported in especially designed containers with a controlled temperature. However, medical freezers that go down to - 70 Degree Celsius are rare even in US and European hospitals. It's storage requirements posed a serious problems for countries which lack the adequate cold-storage infrastructure to maintain the required temperature.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 26, 2021 09:01 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).