Published: 28 May 2021


Comirnaty (Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine) storage conditions updated

28 May 2021

Medsafe has received data from Pfizer to vary the storage conditions for their COVID-19 vaccine. This data has been assessed and Medsafe has approved the new conditions for use in New Zealand.

This change means that the refrigerated (2°C to 8°C) shelf life of an unopened vial of Comirnaty vaccine is extended from 5 days to 31 days.

Once at 2°C to 8°C, the vial cannot be returned to the freezer and must be disposed of after 31 days or on the vial’s expiration date (whichever happens first).

This change will take effect immediately for any vaccine that DHBs or vaccination clinics have in stock, unless the vial’s expiry date has passed. Vaccine dispatched from Wednesday 2 June will include updated labelling to reflect the new storage conditions.

The vaccine still needs to be kept at ultra-low temperatures (-90°C to -60°C) in the longer term, for up to six months.

Further information about the approved storage conditions for the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine can be found in the New Zealand data sheet here.

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