Moderna, Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine Storage Requirements Raise Questions

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The COVID-19 vaccine candidates being developed by Moderna Inc. and BioNTech and Pfizer Inc. will require stringent standards for refrigeration, and that may hamper how they are distributed to the hundreds of millions of Americans expecting to receive them.

Shares of Moderna MRNA, -3.50% were down 3.6% in trading on Thursday, following a rally on Wednesday after the company’s disclosure that people older than 55 years old who participated in the Phase 1 trial had demonstrated neutralizing antibody titers. Pfizer’s PFE, -0.49% stock was down 0.5% in Thursday trading, while BioNTech BNTX, -3.40% tumbled 4.3%.

Executives from Moderna and Pfizer on Wednesday separately told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice on Wednesday that mRNA-1273, which is Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, requires a storage temperature of negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit. BioNTech and Pfizer’s candidates, BN1162b2 and BNT162b2, need to be stored in negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit.

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