Boxes of vials containing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine will be stored at the Kedren Community Health Center in Los Angeles, California on January 25, 2021.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
ModernaThe Covid-19 vaccine can remain stable for 3 months at temperatures in refrigerators, the company said on Thursday, citing new data.
The mRNA vaccine is currently approved for refrigerator storage between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 days and up to seven months in the freezer at minus 4 Fahrenheit.
But Moderna said Thursday it now has data that could support a three-month refrigerator shelf life for the vaccine.
If the new storage temperature is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it could “make it easier to distribute to doctors’ offices and other smaller facilities,” the company wrote in a press release.
It also said it is working on new formulations of its vaccine that could extend the shelf life of the chilled shots even further.
Moderna’s Covid vaccine is one of three vaccines approved for use in the United States. Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine may be used in accordance with the provisions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be stored in a normal refrigerator for up to three months.
For officials, J & J’s approval of the shot has been a boon as it can be used in hard-to-reach places where reliable cooling may not be available, such as in the city center Tribal lands, poorer districts as well as rural and border communities.
Moderna’s update comes weeks after the FDA announced that it approved the company to expedite the delivery of its Covid vaccine by filling a single vial with up to 15 doses. It was previously allowed for 10 doses, enough to vaccinate five people as the vaccine requires two shots a month apart.
Separately, the company announced on Thursday that it was increasing its minimum target for Covid vaccine production for 2021 from 700 million to 800 million doses.