DOH: Some COVID booster shots not expired but have ‘extended shelf life’
MANILA, Philippines — Some COVID-19 vaccines used for booster shots are not expired but have an “extended shelf life,” Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified on Monday.
In a press briefing, Vergeire was asked about allegations that the government uses expired vaccines for booster shots, and replied: “There is no truth that what we are distributing as booster shots are expired.”
“Everybody knows about this because when vaccines are nearing expiry already, we coordinated with FDA (Food and Drug Administration) so that they can coordinate with manufacturers to determine if the shelf life can be extended,” she explained.
She further explained that expired vaccines undergo a “stability study.” Stability testing verifies a product’s long-term quality.
Vergeire also noted that some vials with extended shelf life were not labeled properly and are still bearing the supposed expiration date.
She said the government could not return the vaccine vials to the manufacturers since some had stopped manufacturing vaccines.
Instead, the government gives extended shelf life certificates to the sites to show vaccinees, according to Vergeire.
The latest data from DOH shows that almost 76 million Filipinos are vaccinated against the new coronavirus, while more than 18 million received at least one booster shot.
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