Tag Archives: Covishield

COVID-19 Vaccine Expiry Extension : What You Must Know!

Why COVID-19 Vaccine Shelf Life Keep Getting Extended!

Did you know that COVID-19 vaccine shelf life can be extended beyond what’s printed on the vial, sometimes more than once?

Find out why they keep extending vaccine shelf life, and whether we should be worried about that!

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Shelf Life Is Way Too Short

Based on their experience developing past vaccines, manufacturers have a good idea of how long their vaccines will remain stable and retain their quality and efficacy.

When properly stored, vaccines can last a long time. Most vaccines actually have a shelf life of about three years.

However, vaccine manufacturers have been extraordinarily cautious when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. Many COVID-19 vaccines ship with shelf lives of only 3 to 6 months!

The key takeaway point is that COVID-19 vaccine shelf lives are extraordinarily short. Many healthcare professionals would call them way too short.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Shelf Life Extension Is Normal

The ultra-short shelf life for COVID-19 vaccines have led to criticism that such excessive caution is leading to wastage.

Even while there is a global shortage of vaccines, many doses had to be disposed when they “expired”, even though they are still safe and effective to use.

The WHO has been urging countries to hold onto those “expired doses” while manufacturers are assessing whether their shelf lives can be extended.

The US FDA also points out that vaccines authorised for emergency use do NOT have fixed expiry dates.

Once new stability studies prove that the vaccine remains stable and effective over time, the expiry date of those vaccines can and will be extended.

I should point out that these extended COVID-19 vaccine shelf lives are still very conservative. Perhaps overly conservative.

In fact, we should expect them to keep getting extended as further stability tests show that they do actually last very long.

 

Which COVID-19 Vaccine Has Extended Shelf Life?

You may be surprised to know this, but the shelf life of many COVID-19 vaccines have extended, sometimes more than once.

So do NOT be alarmed if you are given a dose from a vial with an “expired date“. It does NOT mean that you have been given a “bad vaccine”.

It just means that the vaccine has been proven to last much longer than originally expected.

Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY

The Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY vaccine originally had a 6 month shelf life. That was extended by 3 months, to 9 months on 22 August 2021.

On 16 December 2021, the US FDA also extended shelf life for the COMIRNATY vaccine that uses the Tris buffer to 9 months.

So all existing vaccine doses can be used for an additional 3 months beyond their printed expiry dates, as long as they are stored between -90ºC to -60ºC.

Moderna Spikevax

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine originally had a 7 month shelf life.

On 23 December 2021, both UK MHRA and Health Canada extended its shelf life by 2 months, to 9 months, as long as it is stored between -25ºC to -15ºC.

The US FDA also extended the shelf life of certain lots by 2 months, to 9 months, as long as they are stored between -50ºC to -15ºC.

J&J Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson originally has a 3 month (90-day) shelf life.

The US FDA extended its shelf life to 4.5 months (135 days) on 10 June 2021, and then 6 months (180 days) on 28 July 2021.

All existing vaccine doses can now be used for an additional 1.5 to 3 months (45 to 60 days) beyond their printed expiry dates, as long as they are stored at 2-8ºC.

AstraZeneca Vaxzevria

In May 2021, Health Canada extended the shelf life of about 45,000 AstraZeneca doses by a month, following review of stability data.

It allowed the use of doses with an original expiry date of 31 May 2021, until 1 July 2021.

Otherwise, all AstraZeneca vaccine doses remain with their original shelf life of six months.

Sinovac CoronaVac

The CoronaVac inactivated virus vaccine from Sinovac originally had a 6-month shelf life, which was later extended to 12 months, when it was approved by the WHO.

However, Sinovac appears to give the CoronaVac different shelf lives depending on who’s purchasing their vaccine – 1 year in Malaysia, 2 years in Singapore, and 3 years in Indonesia and Thailand.

Sinopharm BIBP

The Sinopharm BIBP vaccine has a 24-month shelf life, as registered with the WHO. With such a long shelf life, there is no real need for an extension.

CanSino Convidecia

The CanSino Convidecia vaccine has a 24-month shelf life, and remains stable for 60 days at room temperature.

With such a long shelf life, there is no real need for an extension.

SII Covishield

Covishield is a rebranded AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and has the same original 6 month shelf life.

In March 2021, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) extended its shelf life by 3 additional months, to 9 months.

Bharat Covaxin

Covaxin originally had a shelf life of 6 months, but that was extended to 12 months by the Indian Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on 3 November 2021.

All existing vaccine doses can now be used for an additional 6 months beyond their printed expiry dates, as long as they are stored at 2-8ºC.

Sputnik V

The Russian vaccine – Sputnik V originally had an incredibly short 2-month shelf life at -18ºC.

The Russian Healthcare Ministry then allowed it to be stored for 2 months at 2-8ºC, before later extending it to 6 months when stored at -18ºC to -22ºC.

 

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Latest US International Travel Rules: What You Need To Know!

The United States just lifted its international travel ban, and here is WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW before travelling to the US for work or leisure!

 

US International Travel Ban Lifted On 8 November 2021!

Almost 20 months after shutting out international travellers, the United States reopened its borders on 8 November 2021.

This not only allows families to reunite, it has also reopened the doors to business travellers and tourists. Flights to the US were reportedly full.

Many Delta flights to the US were 100% full over the next few weeks, with a 450% surge in international bookings. Lufthansa also reported that their flights to the US were fully-booked, while Virgin Atlantic and British Airways said that their passenger volumes to the US was almost full.

 

Latest US International Travel Rules: What You Need To Know!

Before you book your tickets, please go through this summary of the latest US international travel rules (as of 10 November 2021)!

Who Must Be Fully-Vaccinated

All foreigners (18 years or older) travelling to the US must be fully-vaccinated, according to these requirements :

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of a Novavax (or Covavax) COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart

Only these groups are exempted from the requirement to be fully-vaccinated :

  • US citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent residents
  • US immigrants
  • Air crew members
  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)

Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines

The United States will accept all vaccines that received US FDA or WHO approval or EUL. As of 10 November 2021, t this includes :

Single Dose Vaccine

  • Johnson & Johnson Janssen

2-Dose Vaccines

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covaxin
  • Covishield
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Proof Of Vaccination

Travellers will be required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination that must include these information :

  • Personal identifiers : full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents
  • Name of official source issuing the record : public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination

These types of COVID-19 vaccination records will be accepted, as long as they have the information listed above :

Verifiable Records (Digital / Paper)

  • Vaccination certificate with QR code
  • Digital pass via smartphone application with QR code (e.g., United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass, European Union Digital COVID Certificate, Malaysia’s MySejahtera)

Non-Verifiable Paper Records

  • Printout of COVID-19 vaccination record
  • COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at national or subnational level, or by an authorised vaccine provider (e.g. CDC vaccination card)

Non-Verifiable Digital Records

  • Digital photos of vaccination card or record,
  • Downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorised vaccine provider), or
  • A mobile phone application without QR code

Proof Of Negative COVID-19 Test

Regardless of citizenship, ALL TRAVELLERS who are 2 years or older, must obtain a negative COVID-19 viral test, or produce documentation of recovery from COVID-19.

This proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 must be presented to the airlines before you are allowed to board the plane.

Fully-Vaccinated Travellers

The viral test must be conducted on a sample taken no more than 3 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country if you show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Travellers Who Are NOT Fully-Vaccinated

The viral test must be conducted on a sample taken no more than 1 day before the flight’s departure from a foreign country if you do not show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Travellers Who Recently Recovered From COVID-19

If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

I hope this guide helps you safely and conveniently travel to the United States.

Here are the two key sources you can check for more details on US travel requirements :

Have a safe flight, and a great holiday in the United States!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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