Extended expiry? AstraZeneca vaccine doses now good until July, Health Canada says

Published May 29, 2021 at 4:12 pm

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AstraZeneca vaccine doses that were set to expire soon will now be considered good for a month longer after Health Canada unexpectedly extended the expiration date.

Sources report that the 45,000 vaccine doses that were set to expire on Monday, May 31 now have an expiration date of July 1.

The extended shelf life comes following a review of stability data by Health Canada.

On Friday, pharmacies in Ontario braced or a busy weekend as they prepared to administer thousands of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that were originally set to expire in three days.

Quality checks held up the delivery of thousands of shots well into Thursday, as the province worked to redistribute a stockpile of 45,000 doses expiring on Monday and 10,000 more expiring in June.

Approximately 31,600 doses had been delivered to pharmacies on Thursday, according to the province, with 11,500 doses already administered. The rest of the doses were expected to be delivered by the end of the day Friday.

The head of the Ontario Pharmacy Association said participating pharmacies would work hard over the weekend to avoid wastage, with three full days left to complete the vaccinations.

“Everyone’s trying to make this work and they will do what they can to accommodate people,” Justin Bates said in an interview.

With files from The Canadian Press

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