Pfizer vaccine shelf life extended amid wastage fears — Analysis
Pfizer and UK health regulators have said the two-week extension would have ‘no impact’ on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness
Pfizer Covid-19 shots have had their shelf lives extended by the National Health Service. Concerns about the potential for millions of vaccine doses to be wasted because there was not enough booster drives prompted this decision.
In a letter sent to vaccination centers on Monday, NHS England said that “undamaged” vials from 20 batches of Pfizer’s vaccine – known as Comirnaty – could be used up to 45 days after they had been thawed out from ultra-cold freezer storage. The two-week delay is more than the 31 day post-thaw recommended shelf life.
These are the following “stability assessments,”Pfizer confirmed, apparently, that the extension would be granted “no impact to product quality.”In the letter, it was stated that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency MHRA (MHRA), had received the request. “no objection,”Because there is “no detrimental impact on the safety, quality or efficacy of the identified vaccine.”
The letter, by NHS England’s vaccine deployment program leaders Dr. Emily Lawson and Dr. Jonathan Leach, noted that Pfizer had “assessed available data”And instructed coworkers to place stock priorities in order. “nearing expiry.”It will allow for an extension. “enable more patients to access these critical and life-saving vaccines over the coming days,”They also wrote.
Pfizer vaccines are safe to store for nine months, at temperatures between -60 and 80 degrees Celsius. After it has thawed, it is stored in a refrigerator.
Based on “available data,”The Daily Mail was informed by the MHRA that it was “satisfied”That the shots could be administered safely and effectively beyond their intended use. “authorised expiry date,”However, he did not verify whether the same was true for the entire Pfizer vaccine or just the 20 individual batches.
The extension comes amid reports that uptake for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s much-publicized booster vaccination drive has slowed down dramatically. Daily Mail estimates that about 116,000 people are getting their vaccines daily in the United States.
Flagging vaccination rates have led to concerns about wasted doses – with an unnamed Whitehall insider telling the i news outlet last week that “you plan for a certain number of people to come forward, and if they don’t [then] you have a problem.”
The Health Service Journal was informed by a source that booster drives had resulted in vaccines being released. “irrespective of whether regions wanted it.”