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Pfizer approved to extend deadline for COVID-19 vaccine efficacy

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Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2022. 10:38 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Pfizer drug company has gotten approval to extend the deadline for its vaccine efficacy.

It means that as vaccines are produced under emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a short timeline is placed on it to ensure it is quickly used.

The Central American Regional Director for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Emily Zeleinski Gutierrez, told Channel 5 News this morning: “It is very shelf-stable, and this gives us the data required, not just by the FDA, but also the European Union Medical Advisory Board, was able to give it over three months what is printed on the label. So this was for millions of vaccines, including the ones used in the United States.”

Belize’s own technical advisor to the Ministry of Health, Doctor Natalia Largaespada Beer, made note that timelines for using the vaccine are short by nature: “The expiration date, the time that we can use the vaccines is dynamic also. Because when we receive our national supply, that goes into the low-temperature freezers and they can be there for up to six months. But once we start deploying the vaccines to the districts, that time for the use of the vaccine is short. Just one month. So, we have to follow the manufacturing company’s guidelines to ensure the potency of the vaccines.”

At present, better than 45 percent of the population is fully vaccinated with 49 percent having had at least one dose.

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