J&J Vaccine Shelf-Life Extended by F.D.A. to Six Months
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday agreed to allow Johnson & Johnson to extend the shelf life of its coronavirus vaccine to six months.
The FDA decision came as state health officials grew concerned about whether doses of the vaccine would expire and be wasted. Vaccines were previously scheduled to expire after four and a half months.
In a letter, the FDA said its ruling was “applicable to lots that may have expired before this letter of approval was issued” and had been stored at the correct temperature, between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, or 35, 6 and 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine can be stored in normal refrigeration, which has helped states reach more isolated communities where it can be difficult to manage a two-dose vaccine like those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Both should be stored at much lower temperatures.
As of Wednesday, more than 13 million Americans had received the Johnson & Johnson single-injection vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been the most widely administered in the United States, with more than 87 million Americans fully vaccinated with it. More than 63 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated with the Moderna formula.
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