The European Union’s drugs regulator has said the Pfizer Covid vaccine can now be stored at fridge temperature for much longer than it previously recommended.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that once the vaccines thawed, unopened vials could be kept in the fridge for up to a month.
The current limit is just five days.
The increased flexibility is expected to have a significant impact on the vaccine roll-out across the EU.
The need for transport and storage at very low temperatures has been one of the major disadvantages of the Pfizer jab.
The previous storage requirements for Pfizer vaccines have made them harder to use in some parts of the world.
In February, the United States approved storage and transport of the Pfizer vaccine at standard freezer temperatures of -15 to -25C for up to two weeks, as opposed to between -80 to -60C that it usually requires.
Earlier this month Canada authorised the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15, becoming the first country to do so for that age group.
Canada authorises Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 to 15
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