The Ministry of Health is seeking to clarify, what it describes as misinformation in the public domain as it relates to the extension of the shelf life of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.
It says the Expanded Programme for Immunization Unit of the Ministry of Health was advised, via official communication in September, 2021 from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), of the World Health Organisation (WHO) advisory on the increase in the shelf life of unopened Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vials.
The advisory indicates that the shelf life for unopened vaccine vials, which are stored at temperatures ranging from -90°C to -60°C, has been increased from 6 months to 9 months. This advisory applies to current and future batches of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
This shelf life extension means that Trinidad and Tobago’s current stock of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, which would have expired in November 2021 will now expire in February 2022.
The Ministry says it should be noted that the extension of the shelf life of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines was not a directive of the National Technical Advisory Group, the Ministry of Health or of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, as was erroneously implied in the front page headline of the Newsday Newspaper on October 12th.