Here, health departments and pharmacies are on edge to see if the FDA will extend the expiration date on the Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Here, health departments and pharmacies are on edge to see if the FDA will extend the expiration date on the Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
Steve Osenbaugh says when his team at Rely–Care first noticed the shorter shelf life of Johnson and Johnson shots, they began ordering only what they needed to meet demand, checking the expiration dates by QR codes.
“We looked and found out the expiration date was 6–23–21,” said Osenbaugh. “So, that was our clue to be really careful of how much Johnson and Johnson we ordered.”
He has about ten doses set to expire in June and ten will expire in July. He is confident most will be administered to his clients but says if they have extra, he will put them aside.
We would keep it on hand,” said Osenbaugh. “We would keep it in the fridge. We would segregate it from all other products, have it clearly labeled.”
The J and J shot can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures for three months, compared to Pfizer’s which expires six months from its manufacture date, but Pfizer has to be stored in colder temps like Moderna.
Osenbaugh awaits with other pharmacies and health departments in the state and across the U.S. to see if the FDA will extend the expiration dates.
“The FDA is looking at maybe another 30 days they’ll give us a ruling, whether that expiration date might be extended,” said Osenbaugh. “They’re really hopeful that we won’t even lose or waste product.”
I reached out to multiple health departments in the state.
The Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department responded, stating they don’t have any Johnson and Johnson doses in stock.
A Douglas County Health Department official says they have hundreds of the J and J doses but are hoping to get them in arms before they expire.
Another issue is smaller countries in need of doses. Osenbaugh says he would be open to sending “not expired” but extra doses to those areas if approved by the FDA and government.