Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Pfizer and BioNTech said Friday they have asked federal regulators for clearance to begin storing its coronavirus vaccine at warmer temperatures, which would make it easier to store and ship.
Presently, the vaccine must be stored at constant freezing temperatures to keep it stable. The drugmakers say they have now demonstrated, however, that it remains stable at -13 to -5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Moderna, the only other vaccine presently approved for use in the United States, can already be shipped at the same temperatures.
"We have been continuously performing stability studies to support the production of the vaccine at commercial scale, with the goal of making the vaccine as accessible as possible for healthcare providers and people across the U.S. and around the world," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
"If approved, this new storage option would offer pharmacies and vaccination centers greater flexibility in how they manage their vaccine supply."
A vaccine in development at Johnson & Johnson is awaiting FDA authorization. It can be stored at between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit.