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Photo: Axios.

Pfizer is working on a "new version" of its coronavirus vaccine that will be easier to store at higher temperatures, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told Axios during a virtual event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: One of the hardest parts of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout was ensuring that vaccination centers, pharmacies, and doctor's offices would have the correct — and very cold — storage conditions.

  • "As you know, we are right now registered in mind of 70 degrees Celsius, but we could use it two weeks in in a normal freezer," adding that Pfizer already has some data suggesting the vaccine could last for a month in a normal refrigerator.
  • "That's a significant improvement because that provides tremendous flexibility" for health workers "handling this vaccine."

What they're saying: "But also we are right now working on a new version of this vaccine that will be ready-to-use vaccine, so you don't need to reconstitute it, you don't need to dilute it."

  • "And this vaccine can be stored up to six months in normal refrigeration."
  • Bourla added that he was "very confident" the achievement could be done "pretty soon."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull — Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies— Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker
Aug 27, 2021 - Health

Report: COVID origin inconclusive but probably not engineered

Photo: Timur Matahari/Contributor via Getty images

COVID's origin is still inconclusive, according to an unclassified intelligence report publicly released Friday.

Driving the news: Chinese officials had no knowledge of the virus prior to its initial outbreak, according to the report, though it doesn't rule out the lab leak or animal transmission theories. The intelligence community "remains divided."

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

White House clarifies Biden boosters statement

President Biden, right, and Naftali Bennett, Israel's prime minister, meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney0The New York Times-Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to issue a statement clarifying there is no change to their planned timeline for recommending boosters after people finish their primary immunization, despite comments from the president this afternoon.

What they're saying: "We are going to start the booster program in mid-September. There's no change in our timeline," a press release says, according to a senior Biden administration official. The move is also pending authorization by the FDA and the CDC's advisory panel known as ACIP, a senior Biden administration official told Axios.