Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate is “more flexible" because "it can be kept in regular freezer refrigeration," US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Monday on Fox and Friends.
Pfizer's vaccine candidate has to be kept at minus 75 degrees Celsius — or about minus 103 degrees Fahrenheit. No other vaccine in the US needs to be kept that cold, and doctors' offices and pharmacies do not have freezers that go that low.
Moderna's vaccine can be kept at minus 20 degrees Celsius, which is about minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Other vaccines, such as the one against chickenpox, need to be kept at that temperature.
On Moderna's vaccine, Azar said:
"So it’s going to be amenable to that program we announced last week, going to your local chain or community pharmacist and getting vaccinated. The Pfizer one’s going to be really good for big institutional vaccination, say a whole hospital setting, several nursing homes at once."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misstated the temperature the Moderna vaccine can be kept. It's minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.