While Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine turned in strong early efficacy numbers and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said he expects similar figures from Moderna, the new class of mRNA shots mostly comes with stringent storage requirements that raise logistical hurdles for a broad rollout. Except the program under development at CureVac, which now reports its candidate is stable for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures.
Dubbed CVnCoV, CureVac’s shot can also be kept for up to 24 hours at room temperature, further reducing burdens for vaccination efforts, the company said.
The German biotech, which advanced to phase 2a testing in late September, is “very encouraged by the emerging stability profile,” of its vaccine candidate, chief production officer Florian von der Mülbe said in a statement. The profile “has the potential both to enable decentralized storage and to significantly facilitate large-scale vaccination efforts during the current pandemic,” he added.
Other vaccines in the new mRNA class, such as the candidates from Pfizer and Moderna, need to be kept at subzero temperatures. Pfizer’s shot requires storage at a frigid minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 degrees Celsius), and will only last about 24 hours at refrigerated temperatures between 35.6 and 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the challenges, the company has an ambitious plan for its rollout.
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