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Philippines considers extending expiry dates of COVID-19 shots

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: A health worker inoculates a woman with a dose of COVID-19 vaccine inside a vaccination bus transformed from an airport bus in Manila, the Philippines, Aug. 24, 2021. (Photo: Rouelle Umali/Xinhua via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A health worker inoculates a woman with a dose of COVID-19 vaccine inside a vaccination bus transformed from an airport bus in Manila, the Philippines, Aug. 24, 2021. (Photo: Rouelle Umali/Xinhua via Getty Images)

By Andreo Calonzo

The Philippines is considering stretching the shelf life of some COVID-19 vaccines, an official said, after thousands of AstraZeneca Plc. shots were reported to have been unused past their original expiry dates.

The nation may follow Canada in extending the expiration dates of some COVID-19 shots, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said in a televised briefing on Friday. Earlier this year, Health Canada lengthened the shelf life of AstraZeneca vaccines by a month, citing scientific evidence supporting the move.

The Philippines – which lags most of Southeast Asia in inoculations – administered about 8 million shots at its three-day vaccine drive earlier this week, falling short of a target of 9 million jabs. The government plans to hold another mass vaccination drive mid-December.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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