Millions of Australians are now receiving their Covid-19 vaccinations in the form of Pfizer (COMIRNATY - BNT162b2) and AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1 S) shots from their local GPs, pharmacies, Medical Centres and vaccination hubs. The Therapeutic Goods Administration allow both variants of the vaccine to be stored in pharmacy vaccine refrigerators for up to a month.
As per the TGA with regard to Pfizer; While longer term storage at dry ice or ultra-cold temperatures (-90C to -60°C) is still required, for unopened vials, storage and transportation at domestic freezer temperatures (-25°C to -15°C) is now permitted for up to 2 weeks. Vials stored or transported in this manner can also be returned to ultra-cold longer term storage within the original shelf life of the product.
In addition, unopened vials can now be stored for up to 5 days at domestic refrigerator temperatures (2°C to 8°C). Within this 5 day period, up to 12 hours may be used for transportation, but the time used for transport of unopened vials at refrigerator temperatures counts against the 5 day limit for storage at 2°C to 8°C. Once thawed, COMIRNATY should not be re-frozen.
As per Ther Pharmacy Guild of Australia guidelines regarding AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S):
Storage and cold chain
- The MDVs should be stored in their original outer packaging (carton) to protect them from light.
- The vaccine can be stored in cold chain conditions of +2°C to +8°C for a maximum of 6 months as per the
expiry date printed on the vial. Do not freeze the vaccine.
Once opened, the MDV can be used until one of the following has been reached:
- 6 hours at room temperature up to 30°C
- 48 hours in the refrigerator (+2°C to +8°C)
- The vial can be re-refrigerated, but after first opening the cumulative storage time at room temperature
must not exceed 6 hours, and the total cumulative storage time must not exceed 48 hours. After this time, the vial must be discarded
Thermoline Scientific can provide your clinic with various vaccine fridge options - simply choose a fridge capacity that's suitable for your space.