Maldives explores extending shelf life of expiring Covid-19 vaccines

Nurses prepping to administer Covishield vaccine | Photo: President's Office

Malé, Maldives – Ministry of Health is conducting preliminary investigations to extend the shelf life of Covid-19 vaccines stored in the Maldives.

The Health Ministry is examining extending the shelf life of the vaccine doses in the Maldives after the World Health Organization (WHO) made allowances for the use of Covid-19 vaccine doses 3 months past expiry dates.

Vaccines brought to the Maldives in February will expire by November 2021 as the shelf life is 9 months.

Speaking to local news Mihaaru, Quality Assurance Commissioner of the Health Ministry stated that while no decisions have been made to use the vaccines past November, the Maldives is examining whether the leftover vaccine doses fit the criteria set by WHO.

Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) will authorize whether the shelf life for expired vaccine doses may be extended.

Maldives launched the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in February 2021 with the goal to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to the resident population of Maldives. The Maldives has received praise for practising vaccine equity by vaccinating all residents regardless of their documentation status.

At present, 351,570 individuals have been fully vaccinated, with 393,718 inoculated with the first dose of Covid-19 vaccines in the Maldives.