UK regulator says Pfizer COVID vaccine can be stored 31 days in fridge

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FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 vaccinations in Newcastle upon Tyne

LONDON (Reuters) - The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 can be stored for up to 31 days at normal fridge temperatures in Britain after a change approved by the country's health and medicine regulator on Thursday.

"Up until now, the Pfizer vaccine had to be administered within five days of being removed from ultra-low temperature freezers," June Raine, the head of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement.

"Now that the jab can be stored at normal fridge temperatures for up to 31 days, it can be used in a wider range of healthcare settings, giving patients greater access to the Pfizer vaccine."

The change came after the regulator assessed additional stability data, the MHRA said.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Alistair Smout)