Last week, the FDA authorized the Janssen / Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. This will be the third COVID-19 vaccine available, and the first to allow extended storage at refrigerated temperatures. The FDA also authorized Pfizer’s vaccine to be stored in normal freezers for up to two weeks, instead of storing them at ultra-cold temperatures, making the vaccine easier to handle for smaller vaccine sites.
Months into the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, most states have nearly completed Phase 1a, which prioritized healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff. Timelines still vary across states, but most states are currently offering the vaccine to individuals 65 years and older as well as essential workers like teachers. Nearly 69 million doses have been administered in the U.S., with over 21 million Americans completing the series.
Now with a third vaccine available and easier storage requirements for the Pfizer vaccine, we can expect supply to increase. Both Pfizer and Moderna are set to deliver 100 million doses each by the end of March and another 200 million doses by end of July. Janssen / Johnson & Johnson will deliver 20 million doses by end of this month and another 100 million by end of June.
As supply increases and the COVID-19 vaccine distribution ramps up, it’s important to review the cold storage requirements for each vaccine and reference the vaccine product information on the CDC’s website, as well as recommendations for vaccine storage in their Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit.
Pfizer-COVID-19 Vaccine: Pfizer’s vaccine requires storage at ultra-low temperatures but can now be stored in a standard freezer around -20°C for up to two weeks. Pfizer’s vaccine can also be kept in a refrigerator for up to 5 days after the vaccine is thawed.
Moderna-COVID-19 Vaccine: Moderna’s vaccine can be stored in a freezer up to its expiration or beyond use date (BUD). The vaccine can also be stored in a refrigerator for up to 30 days
Janssen / Johnson & Johnson Vaccine: This single dose vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3 months.
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Helmer Scientific is prepared to support your facility through the COVID-19 vaccine roll out with innovative cold storage solutions. Through our Quick Ship Vaccine Storage program, facilities can choose from a selection of vaccine refrigerators and freezers available for immediate shipment. Click the link below to learn more about our vaccine storage options and our Quick Ship program.