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Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine no longer needs to be frozen during shipping

Click to play video 'Canada to get even more COVID-19 vaccines by Moderna' Canada to get even more COVID-19 vaccines by Moderna
WATCH: Canada to get even more COVID-19 vaccines by Moderna – Dec 15, 2020

American biotech firm Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine can now be shipped locally without it needing to be frozen at all.

The messenger RNA vaccine from the Massachusetts-based company is on the verge of being authorized for use in Canada and could be approved for use in the United States as early as today.

Read more: Moderna designed its coronavirus vaccine in 2 days — here’s how

Until now, it was believed the 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.

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A Moderna spokeswoman says this makes the logistics easier of getting the vaccine to remote locations.

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Coronavirus: Moderna vaccine expected to move more quickly – Dec 14, 2020

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.

Health Canada’s review team is still waiting for final data on Moderna’s manufacturing process before making its decision but the company plans to start shipping the first 168,000 doses within 48 hours of getting the green light.

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