(WSYR-TV) — If you’ve had no luck in getting a COVID-19 vaccine, there’s some encouraging news.
Drug companies are telling lawmakers that they project a major increase in vaccine deliveries that will result in 140 million more doses by April 1. They have solved manufacturing problems that previously caused them to fall short.
If the companies are able to meet their projections, it would signal the beginning of the end of a period of deep frustration. It would also mark faster progress against a pandemic that has now claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States alone.
We now have a question about another issue that’s been getting in the way of vaccinating more people.
This question is from a family doctor’s practice:
“I’ve heard the vaccines may not need super cold storage temperatures. That would make it so much easier to give the shots in doctor’s offices. What’s the latest on that?”
The Pfizer vaccine in particular has been a challenge, as it had to be stored in ultracold freezers that are kept between -112 degrees and -76 degrees.
That’s been limiting the number of sites to places like the State Fairgrounds.
But, the company submitted new evidence to the FDA showing their vaccine could be safely stored at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks. And the FDA has informed the company that they’ve reviewed the request and will allow that.
The changes open up the possibility that smaller pharmacies and doctors offices could give the shots using their existing freezers. And that would make vaccines more readily available to millions of people.