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More Alabama providers can supply Pfizer vaccine after FDA changes storage requirements

Impact of new Pfizer storage requirements on AL supply
Impact of new Pfizer storage requirements on AL supply
Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 10:13 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine now can be stored at standard freezer temperatures instead of ultra cold temperatures.

When the Pfizer vaccine first came out, it had strict storage requirements. Extra cold freezers were needed and state health leaders said this makes it difficult for many vaccine providers to store it.

Dr. Karen Landers with the state health department said there are more than one thousand vaccine providers in the state, but only 27 locations could maintain Pfizer’s original storage requirements.

The FDA reported that now the product to be stored in a regular vaccine freezer for up to 14 days.

Dr. Landers said this will help the state supply more providers with Pfizer product, but they need to be able to administer a large amount within those 14 days.

“When you order Pfizer, it is 1,170 doses,” Landers said. “That is the minimum order, so you have to be able to give a lot of vaccine as an entity. Still, this really has to be in places where that much vaccine can be given.”

Dr. Landers said the state does not break up any orders, so providers have to be able to manage all 1,170 doses.

She said even with the new cold chain requirements, the state will still get the same allotment of Pfizer product each week.

Right now, a little more than 35,000 Pfizer doses are administered weekly.

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