The South African health The Food Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has extended the expiry date of millions of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines by three months.
Vaccines that were set to expire at the end of October now have a longer shelf life, subject to storage conditions.
“Previous circulars related to this subject make reference, indicating that the latest storage stability data reviewed by Sahpra and the storage conditions of all Comirnaty vaccine lots have been previously extended by 9 to 12 months when stores at temperatures ultra-cold storage between -90C and -60C,” reads a statement from Sahpra.
“The manufacturer has submitted new stability data to Sahpra for review and approval. Based on the available data, Sahpra has approved a further 3 month shelf life extension for all vaccines when stored between -90C and -60C, giving a total shelf life of 15 months from date of manufacture. This shelf life extension applies to all Pfizer lots listed. The extension does not apply if the vaccine doses have already been moved to storage at -20C and 2-8C.
Two deaths linked to the Covid vaccine
It comes just days after two fatal cases of the rare Guillain-Barré syndrome in people who received a Johnson & Johnson Covid shot were recorded.
Sahpra reported its first case in August and the second last Monday.
“Sahpra has been informed of a second fatal case of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) following vaccination with the Covid-19 Janssen vaccine,” she said in a statement.
In a response to AFP on Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson said “very rare cases of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) have been reported following vaccination with the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine, with most occurring during the first 42 days following vaccination.
“GBS is a very rare but serious adverse event that is associated with the administration of various vaccines and other medications and can also be triggered by infections such as SARS-CoV-2,” he said, but made no direct reference to the South African. Houses
Pressed for more details, Sahpra on Tuesday declined to divulge further information, citing “patient confidentiality” rules.
Additional AFP report