Canada extends vaccine expiry date

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Sarah Peddie

Health Canada announced that it would extend the expiry dates on two lots of AstraZeneca vaccines by a month. 

Ontario was given permission from Health Canada to entext the expiry date on some doses of the vaccine.

This effort will save thousands of jabs going to waste as they were due to expire on May 31 but have been extended to July 1. 

Pharmacies and practices across Ontario have been rushing to administer thousands of doses to residents ahead of the expiry dates to avoid wasting doses.

The province has been trying to distribute a stockpile of around 45,000 doses expiring on May 31 and 10,000 more expiring in June.

However, quality checks had held up the delivery of the jabs and many didn’t reach their destinations until Friday May 28.

In a statement, Health Canada said: “Health Canada has approved an extension to the expiry dates of two lots (MT0055 and MT0056) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by 30 days, from May 31, 2021, to July 1, 2021. The approval to extend the shelf life was supported by scientific evidence.


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“Health Canada had previously approved a shelf life of six months for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. On May 27, 2021, Health Canada received a submission from AstraZeneca that included product stability and mathematical modelling data that demonstrated that the quality, safety and efficacy of the two lots would be maintained for an extra month, for a total of up to seven months.

“This change will ensure that provinces and territories are able to use up their existing inventory and provide Canadians access to much needed doses of the vaccine.”

Earlier on we reported that Canada sent health staff and equipment into Ontario as the province battled  with a spike in coronavirus cases.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation with the message. They sent health professionals from different federal departments into Ontario - especially the Toronto region where the situation is the worst.

Ontario is Canada’s most populous province with 14 million residents and has struggled with Covid-19 cases, hospitalisation and ICU patients - overwhelming the healthcare system.

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