HCMC – The Drug Administration of Vietnam, under the Ministry of Health, has approved Pfizer Vietnam Company’s proposal to extend the shelf life of two batches of over 2.9 million Pfizer doses from six to nine months.
The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology allocated the vaccine batches, bought using the State budget, to localities on November 25, to vaccinate children aged between 12 and 17, the local media reported.
The expiry date was initially set for November 30. Pfizer Vietnam Company on November 29 confirmed the date could be extended until February 28, 2022.
The decision on the extension was made based on the conclusions of the Advisory Council for the Registration of Circulation of Drugs and Medicinal Ingredients.
Professor Phan Trong Lan, head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on August 22 approved the extension of the Pfizer vaccine shelf life from six to nine months. The European Medicines Agency made the same decision on September 10.
The extended expiry date has been effective for all currently available batches that have not yet expired worldwide, except for vials dated July 2021 and earlier.
In addition, the extension has been applied to only vaccine batches stored at -90°C to -60°C.
Hanoi has suspended the administering of the vaccine allocated from the two batches whose shelf life has been extended by three months, said director of the municipal Department of Health Tran Thi Nhi Ha.
Ha said the department had received many parents’ concerns over the administering of the vaccine to their children.
It had consulted the Ministry of Health over the administering of the vaccine. Other vaccine batches will be administered as normal, Ha added.
The department has also reviewed its vaccination process, vaccination sites, equipment and human resources.