Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine – Disposal Guidance
A review of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2) SDS indicates no preservative. This is consistent with other literature produced by Pfizer referring to this new vaccine as preservative free. No other information provided by the SDS indicates this new drug would be RCRA hazardous when discarded.
Some vaccines contain a preservative called thimerosal, which is approximately 50% mercury. Vaccines that contain thimerosal are considered RCRA hazardous and carry the D009 EPA waste code.
- Any leftover vaccine can therefore be disposed of as a non-hazardous waste when discarded. As a best management practice, we recommend disposal of non-hazardous pharmaceuticals through incineration as opposed to trash disposal whenever possible. Empty vials can be discarded in the regular trash if not restricted by your solid waste vendor.
We will be updating our system and this blog as new information on this COVID-19 vaccine and others become available. Jeff Hollar – President – PharmWaste Technologies, Inc.