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Moderna ends frozen requirements for COVID-19 vaccine, easing logistics of shipping

Last Updated Dec 18, 2020 at 9:55 am PST

The American biotech firm says its Moderna vaccine can be shipped locally, without it needing to be frozen at all.

It was believed the COVID-19 vaccine had to remain frozen to at least -20 C until shortly before use, but the company says it can now safely transport liquid doses as refrigerated at between 2 C and 8 C.

A spokeswoman at Moderna says this will make it easier to transport the vaccine to remote locations.

Moderna was already considered less risky to ship than a similar vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, which must be kept frozen between -60 C and -80 C, and Canada is planning to send it to the territories, remote Indigenous communities, and for use at long-term care homes.

RELATED: Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, 4 more provinces to start vaccinations

The vaccine is on the verge of being authorized for use in Canada and could be approved for use in the U.S.as early as today.

Speaking on Tuesday, Trudeau said Canada is in agreement to acquire up to 168,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report confirming the effectiveness and safety of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The report shows the vaccine to be 94 percent effective at preventing the virus and 86 percent effective in people over the age of 65.

Moderna’s vaccine is made with the same technology as the already approved Pfizer vaccine and the FDA has found that it is approximately as effective.

Both vaccines require each individual to get two doses to be effective.

With files from The Canadian Press