OSDH to save 75,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from wastage in June with new FDA guidance
The FDA announced on June 10 that expiration dates for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine extend beyond original estimates
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced today that it will save approximately 75,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine for future use that were originally set to expire later this month.
This comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an extension of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine’s expiration date last week, from three months to 4 ½ months. The 75,000 doses anticipated to expire in June will now be available for administration until August 7, with some of the lots expiring July 24.
Vaccine expiration dates are specific to each lot of doses and are based on manufacturer information on how long the vaccines can retain enough strength to be effective. The decision to extend the shelf life of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was made based on data from ongoing studies assessing the vaccine’s stability and efficacy.
“There is no medical risk to the individuals who receive a dose of COVID-19 vaccine that have received an extension on their expiration date,” said Dr. Gitanjali Pai, Chief Medical Officer for the state. “I would encourage Oklahomans to be confident that the dose they receive is perfectly safe and effective based on recent studies that led the FDA to its decision.”
The state received further federal guidance today stating that certain lots of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that had already passed their initial expiration date in April and May have also had their expiration dates extended until July 9, with some of the lots expiring near the end of June. OSDH has been maintaining appropriate cold storage of these vaccines and may now utilize nearly 1,500 additional doses thanks to this expiration date extension.
“OSDH has not discarded recently expired doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our preemptive decision to pull the expired doses from active inventory while maintaining their safe and appropriate storage sets us up well to use them now that the FDA has extended their shelf life,” said Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed. “As of June 9, 2021, OSDH has roughly 26,000 Pfizer doses and a little over 600 Moderna doses expiring by the end of June. We plan to use what we can this month and hold the rest until further federal guidance on these vaccine manufacturers is received.”