How to Safely Store the COVID-19 Vaccine in a Freezer or Refrigerator

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There are now two candidates pending FDA approval for the COVID-19 Vaccine and they both use a messenger RNA, or mRNA genetic material to provoke an immune response. However, they have different temperature requirements for storage, as do two other candidates that are also nearing FDA approval. Shipping and storage will require medical vaccine freezers while vaccine refrigerators will be required at administration sites such as pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and hospitals.

Medical Refrigerator and Medical Freezer Requirements for Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

For instance, the Moderna, Inc. mRNA vaccine breaks down quickly if not kept very cold. Here are the requirements for mRNA-1273, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate:

  • Expected to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for 30 days – allowing for storage at most pharmacies, hospitals, or physicians’ offices.
  • Once the vaccine is removed from the refrigerator for administration, it can be kept at room temperature conditions for up to 12 hours.
  • Requires shipping and long-term storage conditions at standard freezer temperatures of -20°C (-4°F) for 6 months
  • $32 and $37 per dose

Medical Refrigerator and Medical Freezer Requirements for Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is also an mRNA vaccine and it also breaks down quickly if not kept ultra frozen for storage and cold after freezing and prior to administration.

  • Must be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Requires special storage equipment and transportation – this may present distribution problems
  • Can be kept in a regular refrigerator for up to five days after it is thawed.
  • $20 per dose

Medical Refrigerator and Medical Freezer Requirements for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine

AstraZeneca, in collaboration with Oxford University, is developing its potential Covid-19 vaccine known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Data from late-stage trials should be made available before the end of the year.

  • The vaccine is frozen in large containers for storage.
  • Before administration, It is expected to add a final ingredient to its vials enabling them to be kept at regular fridge temperature when the vaccine nears regulatory approval.
  • $3-$4 per dose as this is being distributed at no cost.

Medical Refrigerator and Medical Freezer Requirements for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine

While the other vaccine candidates require two doses, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is a one-dose shot. It was developed based on producing adenovirus vectors, or gene carriers similar to the way the Ebola vaccine was developed.

  • Single-shot makes distributing and administering millions of doses much simpler
  • It’s simpler to store as well. It requires basic refrigeration temperatures for storage
  • It will cost around $10 per dose.

Powers Equipment Manufactures Medical Refrigerators and Medical Freezers for COVID-19 Vaccines

Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies will need to prepare for vaccine storage and administration by purchasing the correct medical vaccine freezers and vaccine refrigerators for safe and effective distribution. Powers Equipment manufactures these refrigerators and freezers in its manufacturing plant located in Warminster, Pennsylvania. For more information about your vaccine storage needs, please contact us.

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