FDA extends shelf life of J&J vaccine amid concern over expiring doses

Johnson & Johnson vials
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the shelf life of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by a month and a half, a move that helps ease concerns about doses that would soon expire. 

The FDA said the shelf life is now 4 1/2 months instead of three months. 

“The decision is based on data from ongoing stability assessment studies, which have demonstrated that the vaccine is stable at 4.5 months when refrigerated at temperatures of 36 – 46 degrees Fahrenheit,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. 

The move comes after concern had grown about possibly expiring doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

For example, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Monday issued an “urgent appeal” to get more shots in arms, given that he said about 200,000 doses of the J&J vaccine in Ohio were set to expire on June 23. 

“At this time, Ohio does not have legal options for sending the vaccine elsewhere, either to other states or other countries,” the state said in a statement. 

The FDA move will allow states more time to get those doses into arms.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has not been used as much as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and faced a temporary pause in April as very rare blood clots were investigated. But the vaccine is only one shot, as opposed to two, meaning it can help vaccinate people in hard-to-reach areas more quickly.

Tags COVID-19 FDA Johnson & Johnson Mike DeWine Vaccine

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