AstraZeneca vaccines ''still stable'' before expiration, experts say
AstraZeneca vaccines against coronavirus disease are ''still stable" to be used prior to their expiry dates in June and July, health experts said on Wednesday.
Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said some AstraZeneca vaccines will expire on June 30, others on July 31.
"All vaccines have very short shelf life. So whatever vaccine will arrive, we will expect that their shelf life will not last long," said Cabotaje, also chairperson of the National Vaccination Operations Center, in the "Laging Handa" public briefing.
She said the local Food and Drug Administration has assured of AstraZeneca vaccines' "stability data" even if they are nearing expiration.
"So it means, even before the expiry until the expiry date, the vaccine is still stable. All the vaccines have an EUA (emergency use authority) of six months from manufacturing," Cabotaje said.
"We always must use the vaccine before the expiration date," said Lulu Bravo, executive director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination, in the same public briefing.
She said it is not right to give expired vaccine to the people.
Cabotaje said the reason the government wants to accelerate the vaccination was not because the jabs are expiring but "for the people to have the protection" against COVID-19.
She also assured that even before the AstraZeneca vaccines expire, they will all be used.
"We are hitting 108,000. So, we will reach the four-million mark by the end of this month and we have already given the directive and we have coordinated with the local government to first use AstraZeneca as second dose to those who were already given the first dose and the remaining doses for the first dose," she said.
The DOH earlier said that 1.5 million doses of AstaZeneca vaccines will expire in June while 500,000 in July. They all came from COVAX facility. Celerina Monte/DMS