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Moderna Announces Longer Shelf Life for its COVID-19 Vaccine

Thursday, April 29, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine can remain stable at temperatures found in refrigerators for 3 months.

According to the company, the mRNA vaccine is currently approved to be stored in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 days and up to seven months in the freezer at minus 4 Fahrenheit.

“We believe that our investments in mRNA delivery technology and manufacturing process development will allow us to store and ship our COVID-19 vaccine candidate at temperatures commonly found in readily available pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators,” said Juan Andres, Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer at Moderna.

“We are pleased to submit these extended stability conditions for mRNA-1273 to regulators for approval. The ability to store our vaccine for up to 6 months at -20° C including up to 30 days at normal refrigerator conditions after thawing is an important development and would enable simpler distribution and more flexibility to facilitate wider-scale vaccination in the United States and other parts of the world.”

Shipping & Long-term Storage: For shipping and longer-term storage, Moderna expects that mRNA-1273 will be maintained at -20°C (-4°F), equal to most home or medical freezer temperatures, for up to 6 months. Using standard freezer temperatures of -20°C (range of -25° to -15°C or -13° to 5°F) is an easier and more established method of distribution and storage than deep freezing and most pharmaceutical distribution companies have the capability to store and ship products at -20°C (-4°F) worldwide.

Refrigeration Storage: After thawing, to facilitate storage at points of administration, Moderna expects that mRNA-1273 will remain stable at standard refrigerated conditions of 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for up to 30 days within the 6-month shelf life. The stability at refrigerated conditions allows for storage at most pharmacies, hospitals, or physicians’ offices.

Room Temperature for Vaccination: Once the vaccine is removed from the refrigerator for administration, it can be kept at room temperature conditions for up to 12 hours.

No Dilution Required at Vaccination Site: The vaccine will not require onsite dilution or special handling, which facilitates vaccination across a range of settings including pharmacies and physicians’ offices.

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