The Hanoi Department of Health confirmed on December 1 that it has suspended COVID-19 vaccinations for two batches of shelf-life Pfizer vaccines that had already expired on November 30 for consultations.
The decision was made after the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health accepted conclusions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) allowing batches of the Pfizer vaccine to be extended for an additional three months.
This means the two batches of the Pfizer vaccine imported into Vietnam (124001 and 123002) with an expiry date of November 30 would be approved for use for an additional three months beyond the printed date, providing that they are kept in storage conditions between -90 to -60 degrees Celsius.
The move immediately raised widespread concerns about the safety of the vaccine in the public, especially among parents whose children are receiving the Pfizer vaccine shot under the ongoing national vaccination drive for children.
In addition, many parents feel like a cat on a hot tin roof following news that three students died in the past week in Hanoi, Bac Giang and Binh Phuoc after receiving their first Pfizer shot.
An official of the Hanoi Department of Health said the department would consult the Ministry of Health for advice.
For the time being, the health official said, other batches of vaccines are still in use.
As of 18:00 p.m. on November 30, Hanoi had vaccinated a total of 283,150 children aged 15 to 17 and 143,103 children aged 12 to 14.
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