Covid-19 vaccine shelf life extended after updated stability data

PUTRAJAYA: The shelf life of Covid-19 vaccines used in Malaysia has been extended after its manufacturer submitted new data on its stability, says the Health Ministry.

“When companies provide the latest data on a vaccine’s stability, indicating that it is still effective, its shelf life will be extended.

“This is despite the date on the vials showing that it has expired,” said director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) had given the green light based on the vaccine’s stability.

“This (extension) can also vary from six months to a year depending on the data we get from the manufacturer,” he said at a press conference after a media briefing here yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham also noted that the intake of Covid-19 vaccines had increased over the past two weeks.

“This (increase in vaccinations) is a positive development, and we encourage those who have yet to be vaccinated or receive their boosters to come forward to do so,” he said.

Separately, Dr Saidatul Norbaya Buang of the Health Ministry’s Public Health Physician (Family Health Development Division) stated that an average of 7,000 second booster dose injections were administered daily.

She said booster vaccinations are offered at 1,293 vaccination centres (PPV) nationwide, namely at 104 government hospitals, 754 clinics, and 435 private PPV.

She added that those in the priority group can get the vaccinations without an appointment by walking in at hospitals, health clinics, or private PPVs, while other categories have to book an appointment through the MySejahtera application or call the PPV.

Institute of Clinical Research director Dr Kalaiarasu Periasamy said that it was also normal to experience minor side effects after receiving vaccines, which would dissipate after about a week.

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