New Storage Conditions For Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine

  • IASbaba
  • May 19, 2021
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New Storage Conditions For Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Biotechnology

In news 

  • The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended a change to the approved storage conditions of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 

Key takeaways

  • With the new recommendations, an unopened thawed vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be stored between 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to a month, which means that it can be stored in a regular refrigerator once it has been taken out of the deep freeze.
  • Before this, an unopened thawed vaccine vial could be kept in a regular refrigerator for a period of only up to five days.

Important value additions

  • mRNA vaccines need to be stored at much lower temperatures than some other kind of COVID-19 vaccines because RNA is much less stable than DNA
  • RNA is less stable due to: (1) The sugars that their molecules are made up of are different. In DNA, it is deoxyribose and in RNA it is ribose; (2) It has single strand, while DNA is expressed as a double-stranded helix.

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