CureVac Aims to Overcome Deep-Freeze Challenge With Covid Shot

CureVac NV, the German biotech company, said its experimental coronavirus vaccine may be able to overcome storage and distribution challenges that threaten to hinder the rollout of rival shots.

Data show CureVac’smessenger RNA vaccine remained stable for at least three months when stored at a standard refrigerator temperature of 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit), and for up to 24 hours as a ready-to-use shot when stored at room temperature, the company said Thursday.

Some vaccines, like the front-runner fromPfizer Inc. andBioNTech SE, must be kept at ultra-cold temperatures and require complex handling to remain viable. That storage requirement isan obstacle that will need to be tackled before the vaccine can be made broadly available, according to experts, and the deployment costs raise worries that poorer nations will be left behind.

CureVac said its stability study is ongoing, aimed at further evaluating the potential for a longer commercial shelf-life.

Speaking at an event Thursday, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease official,pointed to the next vaccines in the pipeline that won’t have the need to be stored at such cold temperatures.

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