Maldives explores extending the expiration date of COVID-19 vaccines by 3 months

A nurse fills a syringe with a vial of Covishield vaccine. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Ministry has stated that research has kicked off to explore the possibility of extending the expiration date of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the Maldives by three months.

Health Ministry’s Quality Assurance Commissioner Thasleema Usman told Sun that a guide by the World Health Organization (WHO) on deciding the expiration date of vaccines is now out.

“WHO first said that the vaccines can be used for six months – but they have recently said that this window can be extended by three months for the vaccines to be used without expiration,” she explained.

Thasleema also noted that although WHO has given the green light to extend the expiration of the vaccine by three months – there was a criterion to be met before implementation of the extension.  

“Maldives Food and Drug Authority is currently probing into this,” she added.

Thasleema also stressed that the decision to extend the expiration of the vaccines by three months will be made in light of the findings of the research by Maldives Food and Drug Authority and international best practices.