Hanoi rejects Pfizer vaccine doses with extended expiry date

Created 08 December 2021
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Hanoi has returned the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses which had their expiry dates extended, a city official said Tuesday.
Hanoi rejects Pfizer vaccine doses with extended expiry date

Tran The Cuong, director of the municipal Department of Training and Education, told a meeting of the city's legislators that parents should continue getting their children vaccinated.

The vaccine from two batches that had their expiry date extended, comprising around three million doses, had already been returned to the Health Ministry, Cuong said.

Last week, Hanoi had suspended the use of the Pfizer vaccine from those batches during a campaign to immunize children from 12 to under 18 against Covid-19.

The rejection of the two batches happened after parents informed the city's health department that the doses have had their expiration date extended.

Numbered 124001 and 123002, the batches originally had the expiration date of November 30. However, upon a request by Pfizer Vietnam, the Drug Administration of Vietnam extended the use of the batches by another three months. The doses had to be in cold storage of between minus 90 and minus 60 degrees Celsius.

The doses were distributed by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to Hanoi and several other provinces on November 25.

For now, the capital city has covered 94.1 percent and 65.08 percent of high-school and secondary students, respectively, with the first dose, Cuong said.

"As per the city’s policy and recommendation by the health sector, after vaccination, students with antibodies will return to schools," he said.

A Health Department representative told VnExpress that the Health Ministry has provided Hanoi with 135,000 Pfizer doses apart from those from the two batches with extended expiration dates, which is enough to vaccinate all secondary students in the coming days.

Several northern provinces that had also received vaccines from the two batches have already administered them.

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan told the press last Thursday that the extension of the expiration dates will not affect the vaccine's quality.

Phan Trong Lan, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, said last week that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since August 22 to have their use extended from six months to nine months. The move was also followed by the European Medicines Agency on September 10.

Lan said the expiration date extension was decided based on research on the vaccine's stability, which showed that under a storage temperature spectrum, the vaccine was still stable and their quality remained unchanged until nine months after their production.

"The extension has been applied globally and on all subjects, including children aged 12 and above," said Lam.

Source: VNE

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