'Shelf life extended for Covaxin, Covishield'; Health Ministry dismisses reports of using vaccines beyond sell-by date

COVID-19 Vaccine. (Photo: IANS)
Representational image: IANS

New Delhi: The Union health ministry on Monday dismissed media reports alleging that expired vaccines are being administered in the country under its COVID-19 vaccination programme as "false and misleading".

"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 ministry said in a statement.

On October 25, 2021, in response to Bharat Biotech International Limited's letter, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the extension of the shelf life of Covaxin (Whole Virion, Inactivated Coronavirus Vaccine) from nine months to 12 months, the ministry said.

Similarly, the shelf life of Covishield was extended by the drug regulator from six months to 9 months on February 22, 2021.

The shelf life of vaccines is extended by the CDSCO on the basis of a comprehensive analysis and examination of the stability study data furnished by the vaccine manufacturers, the ministry said.  

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