Covid-19 vaccine expiry dates: What you need to know
The arrival of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India last week bought new hope for South Africa's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, but the hope was short-lived.
Soon after the doses arrived it was revealed that their expiry date is in just a couple of months' time.
"Unfortunately, these vaccines came through with an expiry date in April, which we only identified upon arrival," said health department deputy director-general Anban Pillay.
However, officials are now waiting on a response from the Serum Institute of India where the vaccines were manufactured "for an extension of the date, if that's possible".
But the Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre's Mia Malan says all is not lost.
Speaking to CapeTalk on Tuesday she explained that the expiry date on Covid-19 vaccines is based on manufacturers only having six month's data to work with.
We have data for 6 months, but many vaccines last for longer, they stay stable for a year.Mia Malan, Founding editor-in-chief - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre
But because the Covid vaccines are so new, we don't have data for 12 months because they haven't existed for 12 months.Mia Malan, Founding editor-in-chief - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre
So even though it may say expiry date of April, that April expiry date could be postponed to May because we now have data that this vaccine says stable for longer than 6 months.Mia Malan, Founding editor-in-chief - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre
I think it might have been a good idea to have asked before they sent the batch and find that out.Mia Malan, Founding editor-in-chief - Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre
Listen below as Mia Malan explains Covid-19 vaccine expiry dates:
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