The shelf life of Bharat Biotech International Ltd’s Covid vaccine Covaxin has been increased to 12 months from the present nine months by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), said an official statement from the company.

With this approval of shelf-life extension to 12 months, Covaxin now has the longest shelf life among the three vaccines being administered in the country. Covishield has a shelf life of nine months, while Sputnik V has only six months from the date of production.

When launched, Covaxin’s approved shelf life was six months if stored at two to eight degrees celsius, after which it was increased to nine months. This approval of shelf-life extension is based on the availability of additional real time stability data, which was submitted to CDSCO by the vaccine-maker.

“The shelf-life extension has been communicated to our stakeholders,” said the company. When asked about the implications of a longer shelf life, the director of a city-based corporate hospital said that the extension of shelf life augurs well for the ongoing public vaccination programme, and will help in better utilisation of stocks, besides meeting demand.

As Covaxin has also been approved for emergency use for those below 18 years, a longer shelf life will also come handy in hastening the pace of vaccination in remote places.

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