Philippines considers extending expiry dates of Covid-19 shots


A health worker prepares Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City, Philippines, on Nov 17, 2021. - AP

MANILA (Bloomberg): The Philippines is considering stretching the shelf life of some Covid-19 vaccines, an official said, after thousands of AstraZeneca Plc. shots were reported to have been unused past their original expiry dates.

The nation may follow Canada in extending the expiration dates of some Covid-19 shots, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said in a televised briefing on Friday (Dec 3).

Earlier this year, Health Canada lengthened the shelf life of AstraZeneca vaccines by a month, citing scientific evidence supporting the move.

The Philippines -- which lags behind most of South-East Asia in inoculations -- administered about 8 million shots at its three-day vaccine drive earlier this week, falling short of a target of 9 million jabs. The government plans to hold another mass vaccination drive mid-December.

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