Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) announced approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be saved at refrigerator temperatures – between two and eight degrees Celsius – for as much as 31 days.
The new storage situation will drastically facilitate the transportation and native distribution of the vaccine to vaccination centres, in addition to their storage and use at the centres, an HSA press release stated.
This is vital in making certain the “regular progress” of the nation’s vaccination programme, it mentioned.
The new storage permission comes following a thorough overview of the applying and supplemental knowledge submitted by Pfizer, the company mentioned.
The United States’ Food and Drug Administration had last week authorised storage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at refrigerator temperatures for as much as a month.
“HSA has decided that the thawed, undiluted COVID‐19 vaccine stays secure when saved at customary refrigerator temperatures (two to eight degrees Celsius) for 31 days,” mentioned the authority.
The long-term storage temperature for the vaccine stays at minus 70 degrees Celsius, it added.
In HSA’s initial authorisation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in December final yr, it permitted non permanent storage of the vaccine after thawing at 2 to eight degrees Celsius for as much as 5 days.
In February, HSA authorised a change indicating that the vaccine can be saved at customary freezer temperature, or minus 20 degrees Celsius, for as much as two weeks.
The newly prolonged storage situation at refrigerator temperature is a “vital enchancment” over present storage situations, mentioned HSA CEO Mimi Choong.
“HSA’s evaluators will proceed to conduct rigorous and environment friendly assessments of evolving scientific and real-world knowledge, to facilitate Singapore’s continued entry to important COVID-19 vaccines and medicines and assist our nation’s battle towards the COVID-19 pandemic,” mentioned Dr Choong.
Singapore has permitted two COVID-19 vaccines to be used, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Both vaccines require two doses.
Last week, the Ministry of Health introduced that Singapore will extend the interval between the primary and second vaccine doses to between six and eight weeks, up from three to four weeks.
The shift in vaccination technique is to prioritise extra folks getting their first dose of the vaccine.
With this new technique, Singapore goals to have about 4.7 million folks, or about 82 per cent of its inhabitants, receiving at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by August, mentioned Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.