May 20, 2021 10:18
It may soon be possible to keep Pfizer vaccine vials at normal fridge temperatures of 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to a month rather than the ultra-cold temperatures that have made it difficult to handle.
Pfizer on Wednesday said it is applying to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety this week to approve the change and also use of the vaccine for children over 12. So far the vaccine has been authorized only for over-16s.
Canada, Singapore and the U.S. have already authorized Pfizer vaccination for children over 12, and on Monday, the European Medicines Agency approved storage of vials at 2-8 degrees for 31 days.
Originally, the Pfizer vaccine had to be stored at about -70 degrees, which makes it difficult to transport or roll out across developing countries. But in February, as a result of further research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its storage and use at -25 to -15 degrees for two weeks.
Korea followed suit on April 16, and further change of the storage temperature could speed up the country's vaccine rollout.
Meanwhile, 646 new daily cases of coronavirus infections and four more deaths were reported as of Thursday morning. That brought the cumulative number to 134,117 cases and 1,916 deaths.
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