“Reports That Expired Covid Shots Being Given False, Misleading”: Centre

'Reports That Expired Covid Shots Being Given False, Misleading': Centre

The process to vaccinate children commenced in the country amid scare of the Omicron variant

New Delhi:

Reports claiming that expired vaccines in the 15 to 18 age group are being given under national COVID-19 vaccination programme are false and misleading, the government clarified today, adding that the reports used “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 government said in a statement.

“The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on 25th October 2021, in response to M/s Bharat Biotech International Limited’s letter no: BBIL/RA/21/567 has approved the extension of shelf life of Covaxin (Whole Virion, Inactivated Coronavirus Vaccine) from 9 months to 12 months. Similarly, the shelf life of Covishield has been extended by the National Regulator from 6 months to 9 months on 22nd February 2021,” it added.

The news of teenagers allegedly receiving expired doses has been raised by political leaders.

“All drugs have a prescribed expiry period, hence how can the same be ‘extended’ and the vaccine re-labelled to administer the same? Above all this is now being made available to provide vaccines to the young,” asked Supriya Sule, NCP MP. The MP also tagged Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

“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 government said.

A vaccination centre in Gurgaon, claimed a mother, was administering

Covid shots that expired in November as immunisation for the 15-18 age group started today.

“So my son went to get his first vaccine, the drive for kids begin today and realized that the vaccine had already expired in November. Then a letter was shown wherein it seems the shelf life has been extended!!How, why, on what basis? To clear stock you experiment on kids?” asked Navanita Varadpande, a mother, on Twitter.

Covaxin Open Vial is stable at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for 28 days and not required to be discarded immediately in a day or at the end of immunisation session, Bharat Biotech said in a statement on December 20.

“This approval of shelf life extension is based on the availability of additional stability data, which was submitted to CDSCO. With the shelf life extension, hospitals can now utilise the stock to avoid vaccine wastage, the press release then said.

The process to vaccinate children commenced in the country amid scare of the Omicron variant.

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