What is the view of the WHO representative in Vietnam on Pfizer’s extended use of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Dr. Kidong Park, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, said: The World Health Organization has agreed to extend the use period to August 2021, to 9 months. It applies to all Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines that have been in production since the initial approval. Until late December 2020.

Dr. Kidong Park said: On December 31, 2020, WHO approved the COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer and included it on the WHO emergency list. This is the first vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.

On January 8, 2021, WHO issued recommendations on the use and storage requirements of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. Specifically, the requirements include: vaccination for people 16 years and older; two doses separated by 21 to 28 days; each dose of 0.3 ml, content of 30 micrograms, intramuscular injection in the deltoid region; storage in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. These recommendations are based on scientific data available at the time.

Dr. Kidong Park said that after the preliminary approval stage, manufacturers will continue to conduct research and development. The National Vaccine Regulatory Agency updated the approval conditions after reviewing the new evidence and scientific data provided by the manufacturer.

Correspondingly, the updated approval conditions include: the injection age group has been expanded from 16 years old to 12 years old and above; the shelf life has been increased from 6 months to 9 months; the WHO has reviewed and approved these updated conditions.

The WHO also agreed to approve an extension of the shelf life in August 2021 and to extend all Pfizer vaccines produced since the first approval in late December 2020 for up to nine months.

To answer the three-month postponement question, how does Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine meet storage requirements? The representative of the World Health Organization in Vietnam said:

There are three requirements for storing vaccines:

-Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 can be stored in a low-temperature refrigerator at -90 to -60 degrees Celsius for up to 9 months

-After being taken out of the refrigerator, the unmixed vaccine vials can be stored at 2°C to 8°C for 31 days before use.

Within 9 months of the shelf life, unopened vials can be stored and transported at -25°C to -15°C for up to 2 weeks.

Dr. Qidong Park emphasized: “The data of the stability study proves that the quality of the vaccine meets the requirements for use. Therefore, the quality of the vaccine remains unchanged for up to 9 months.”

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