FDA has approved a shelf-life extension for the Pfizer Pediatric vaccine (Orange cap, 5-11 YO, diluent required) and the soon to be available Adol/Adult Tris (Gray Cap, age 12+, no diluent). This approval may be found at Healthcare Providers for 5-11 years of age, orange cap (must dilute) (fda.gov) ; Healthcare Providers for 12 years of age and older, gray cap (no dilution) (fda.gov) ) and takes effect immediately. This extension applies to frozen (ULT) inventories only.

The date printed on the Pfizer Pediatric (orange cap) and Adult/Adolescent (gray cap, 12+, no diluent) vaccine vials indicate the manufacture date and NOT the expiration date.

Originally, the expiration date was 6 months from the manufacture date.  The expiration date for Pfizer orange and gray cap vaccine has now been extended to 9 months (while held at ULT frozen.)  The Fact Sheets for both orange and gray cap vials provided by the FDA now reads, “regardless of storage conditions, vaccines should not be used after 9 months from the date of manufacture printed on the vial and cartons”.  The updated expiry dates for both the orange and gray cap vials based on 9 months from the date of manufacture are provided below.

Printed Manufacturing Date

 9-Month Expiry Date*


Feb. 28, 2022


Mar. 31, 2022


Apr. 30, 2022


May 31, 2022


Jun. 30, 2022


July. 31, 2022


Aug. 31, 2022


Sept. 30, 2022


Oct. 31, 2022

*Date of expiration always falls on the last day of the month

The QR code provided on the Pfizer Pediatric Vaccine carton provides a link to the EUA but does not provide information on expiration dates.   

Please follow EUA recommendations for storage:

Pfizer 5 through 11 years of age formulation

  • If not previously thawed at 2ºC to 8ºC (35ºF to 46ºF), allow vials to thaw at room temperature [up to 25ºC (77ºF)] for 30 minutes.
  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine multiple dose vials with orange caps and labels with orange borders may be stored at room temperature [8°C to 25°C (46°F to 77°F)] for a total of 12 hours prior to dilution.
  • After dilution, the vial should be held between 2ºC to 25°C (35°F to 77°F). Vials should be discarded 12 hours after dilution.

Pfizer 12 years and older formulation.

  • Frozen vials may be stored in an ultra-low temperature freezer at -90ºC to -60ºC (-130ºF to -76ºF). Do not store vials at -25°C to -15°C (-13°F to 5°F). Once vials are thawed they should not be refrozen.
  • Vials may be transferred to the refrigerator [2ºC to 8ºC (35ºF to 46ºF)], thawed and stored for up to 10 weeks. The 10-week refrigerated expiry date should be recorded on the carton at the time of transfer. A carton of 10 vials may take up to 6 hours to thaw at this temperature.

Regardless of storage condition, vaccines should not be used after 9 months from the date of manufacture printed on the vial and cartons.

All Pfizer updated Fact Sheets may be found at:

Healthcare provider questions regarding COVID-19 vaccine can be directed to the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 1-800-831-6293 ext. 1 or emailed to COVID19Vaccine@idph.iowa.gov