Central govt rejects report of administering expired Covid-19 vaccines as ‘misleading’


The central government on Monday rejected the reports that claimed expired coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines were being administered in India under its national vaccination programme. The government said in a release that the media reports were “false and misleading and based on incomplete information.” “There have been some media reports alleging that expired vaccines are being administered in India under its national Covid-19 vaccination programme. This is false and misleading and based on incomplete information,” the release said.

The government highlighted that the 3-months extension of the shelf life of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in October last year. It further said that the shelf life of Covishield, the Indian version of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, was also extended from six to nine months in February 2021.

"The shelf life of vaccines is extended by the National Regulator based on comprehensive analysis and examination of stability study data furnished by the vaccine manufacturers," the release added. Bharat Biotech earlier said that the approval of the shelf-life extension was based on the availability of additional stability data, which was submitted to CDSCO.

Amid the issue of vaccine wastage, the Hyderabad-based manufacturer also recently announced that the opened vials of its Covid-19 vaccine can be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to 28 days and are not required to be discarded immediately in a day or at the end of the immunisation session.

Covaxin has been approved for use under the 28-day multi-dose vial policy from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and the WHO Emergency Use Listing.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)