New Delhi: India’s drug regulator has allowed The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to be used for up to nine months from its manufacture date, as opposed to the prescribed six months, News18 quoted Reuters as saying.
The approval, given to a licensed version of the drug made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and exported to dozens of countries, could help health authorities to minimise vaccine wastage and better plan their inoculation programmes.
Some African countries have only until the middle of next month to use up more than a million doses of the vaccine branded Covishield by SII if the shelf life is not extended.
“You are permitted to apply the shelf-life of 9 months to unlabelled vials available on hand,” India’s drug controller-general, V.G. Somani, wrote late last month in reply to a request from the SII.