On Wednesday, March 3, Health Canada announced that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine can be stored temporarily at much warmer temperatures than previously outlined.
According to Health Canada, the vaccine can now be stored for up to two weeks and transported at temperatures between -25 and -15 C.
That's just a standard freezer's temperature and it's way warmer than the original requirements for both short- and long-term storage which were between -80 and -60 C.
"Ultra-cold conditions are still recommended for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine," says Health Canada, though they've deemed freezer temperatures to be safe for two weeks.
The long-term storage requirements remain the same, meaning any vials that are stored or transported at these higher temperatures "may be returned one time to the recommended storage condition of -80°C to -60°C."
The challenge of storing the vials in the extreme cold even had an ice cream company offering to help.
Health Canada will be continuing to monitor this on an ongoing basis.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccines and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.