Hanoi suspends use of Pfizer batches with extended expiration dates

By Vo Hai, Pham Chieu   December 1, 2021 | 02:11 am PT
Hanoi suspends use of Pfizer batches with extended expiration dates
Students at the Quang Trung High School in Hanoi's Dong Da District receive Covid-19 vaccination, November 23, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Hanoi has suspended the use of two Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine batches of around three million doses, which have had their expiration date extended.

Tran Thi Nhi Ha, director of the municipal Department of Health, said parents have informed the department about the fact that two batches have had their expiration date extended.

The department then decided to suspend the use of these two batches, while still using other batches normally, said Ha.

In Ha Dong District, Truong Ky Phong, director of its medical center, said he had received news about the vaccine batches from the Hanoi health department on Tuesday and has suspended their use Wednesday morning.

A representative of the Nam Tu Liem District medical center also confirmed its suspension in using the two batches "until further notice."

The two Pfizer vaccine batches in question, numbered 124001 and 123002, originally had the expiration date on November 30. However, upon a request by Pfizer Vietnam, the Drug Administration of Vietnam has extended the use of the batches to nine months under cold storage between minus 90 and minus 60 degrees Celsius.

The decision to extend the batches’ expiration date was issued in accordance to the advisory council for approving drug registration. Pfizer Vietnam is responsible for the quality of vaccine doses circulating in the market.

The two batches have been distributed by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology on November 25. Their extended expiration date would allow them to be used three months after their original expiration date, meaning until the end of February.

Phan Trong Lan, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, said 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 is 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 still proved to be stable and their quality remained ensured nine months after their production.

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

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