Vaccine – Manufacturer Information and FAQ’s

MRNA Vaccines FAQ’s

Pfizer vaccine storage/distribution fact sheet

Moderna Vaccine FAQ

Vaccine Side-by-Side Comparison:

Note: As of April 13, 2021, the FDA and CDC are temporarily requiring the halting of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine administration to assess reports of an extremely rare side blood clotting side effect. More information available here:

Company Type Doses Storage Indicated Age
Pfizer mRNA 2 -70°C (see below) 16 years old +
Moderna mRNA 2 -20°C (see below) 18 +
Johnson and Johnson Vector vaccine 1 Regular fridge temperature 18+

FAQ Questions

  • How many COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use?
      • Three. On 1/27/2021 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The EUA allows the Janssen / Johnson & Johnson (JnJ) COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.

 

  • How is the Pfizer vaccine stored? 
      • The vaccine can be stored in ultra-low-temperature freezers for six months. The Pfizer thermal shippers, in which doses will arrive, can be used as temporary storage units by refilling with dry ice every five days for up to 30 days of storage. Refrigeration units that are commonly available in hospitals. The vaccine can be stored for five days at refrigerated 2-8°C conditions. Without a commercial ultra-low-temperature freezer, the vaccine can be stored for a total of up to 35 days. 
      • Update as of 2.25.21: The FDA announced it is allowing undiluted frozen vials of Pfizer COIVD-19 Vaccine to be transported and stored in a standard freezer for a period of up to two weeks.
  • How is the moderna vaccine stored? 
      • The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine multiple-dose vials are stored frozen between -25º to -15ºC (-13º to 5ºF) in the original carton to protect from light. 
      • Vials can be stored refrigerated between 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for up to 30 days prior to first use.
  • How is the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine stored?
      • Vaccine vials are stored at refrigerator temperature between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) until the expiration date.
      • The Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine does not contain a preservative. Record the date and time of first use on the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine vial label. After the first dose has been withdrawn, hold the vial between 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for up to 6 hours or at room temperature (maximally 25°C/77°F) for up to 2 hours. Discard if vaccine is not used within these times.
  • Can the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines be transferred to freezer conditions after they are stored in  2-8°C conditions?
      • Once thawed and stored under 2-8°C conditions, the vials cannot be re-frozen or stored under frozen conditions.
  • How long do the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines last at room temperature?
      • Unpunctured Johnson and Johnson vaccine vials may be stored between 8° to 25°C (46° to 77°F) for up to 12 hours. Punctured vials are good at room temperature for two hours but will last a total of six hours if stored at refrigerator temperature. 
      • Unpunctured Moderna vaccine vials may be stored between 8° to 25°C (46° to 77°F) for up to 12 hours. Punctured vials are good at room temperature for six hours. 
      • The Pfizer vaccine may be thawed at room temperature, up to 25⁰C (77⁰F), which takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Vials at room temperature must be mixed within 2 hours or returned to the refrigerator. Once punctured and mixed, the vaccine lasts six hours at room temperature. 

 

  • Do I get a choice in which vaccine manufacturer I get?
      • Most likely not. Whichever vaccine is offered should be taken as all are highly effective.
  • What type of TMD (Temperature monitoring device) should be used to monitor temperatures? 
      • If using an ultra-cold freezer or refrigerator to store vaccine, CDC requires a specific type of TMD called a “digital data logger” (DDL). A DDL provides the most accurate storage unit temperature information, including details on how long a unit has been operating outside the recommended temperature range (referred to as a “temperature excursion”). DDLs using a buffered temperature probe provide the most accurate way to measure actual vaccine temperatures. Always use DDLs with a current and valid Certificate of Calibration Testing. Note that not all DDLs can measure ultra-cold temperatures.
      • If using the thermal shipping container to store vaccine, use the Controlant TMD included with the shipping container.

 

  • Which organization is providing funding for the COVID-19 Vaccine storage equipment?
        • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is providing funding through the Oregon Immunization Program (OIP).
      • How much funding is available per facility?
        • Allowable purchases will be reimbursed up to $1,000 per vaccination facility
      • Which storage equipment qualifies for funding? 
        • Allowable purchases include:
          • Vaccine storage units (i.e., refrigerators and freezers approved for vaccine storage). Note: NO dorm-style combined refrigerator/freezer units allowed under any circumstances.
          • Temperature monitoring equipment
          • Portable ‘phase change material’ (PCM) vaccine coolers
        • How do I apply for funding for vaccine storage equipment? 
          • Click here for complete instructions and to access the required documentation and submission form.
  • I am planning for off site immunization clinics. How can I transport the vaccine and meet the requirements?
      • The CDC requires that you use either a portable storage unit or a qualified packout. A qualified packout means you use a foam storage container qualified for vaccine shipping and storage, the simplest solution is to use one from previous vaccine shipments. Follow these CDC instructions for appropriately packaging vaccines. 
  • What is the cost of the vaccine?
      • According to HHS, insurers including CMS will pay for administration, and a fund will be created for uninsured patients’ administration fees for providers to bill. AMA has created billing codes for the two most viable vaccine candidates, more information can be found on the AMA website
  • How can I know what the state and CDC have planned for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution?
      • The OHA website has comprehensive information about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout within Oregon. National distribution and vaccination information can be found in the CDC Interim Playbook released in October. 
  • Can technicians give vaccinations?
      • Technicians are not authorized to immunize under Oregon laws but are authorized under the PREP Act. The PREP Act from the Department of Health and Human Services gives guidance for both state-qualified pharmacy technicians and state-authorized pharmacy interns acting under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist in administering both FDA-authorized/licensed COVID-19 vaccinations for ages three and older and FDA-authorized/licensed ACIP-recommended vaccinations for ages three to 18 following the ACIP vaccination schedule.