Authorisation for use
The MHRA’s conditions of temporary authorisation and the information for healthcare professionals and recipients outlines the framework through which the vaccine can be used.
Storing vaccine appropriately
Effective process control is essential to ensure that vaccines are stored correctly and expiry dates and times are allocated.
Storage prior to use
The unopened AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1 S [recombinant]) vials must be stored in a refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C and kept in their outer carton to protect from light. The vaccine must not be frozen.
Storage in use
In use, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1 S [recombinant]) vial should be used as soon as practically possible and within 6 hours. The vaccine can be stored between 20°C and 25°C during this 6 hour period.
Any AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1 S [recombinant]) vials which exceed the 6 hour in-use period must be discarded.
Further detail on storage
Handling and preparing vaccines
Extracting additional doses
The vials are multi dose containers and contain sufficient vaccine for 9 doses (from a 4mL vial) or 11 doses (from a 5mL vial) depending on the presentation received. Extracting additional doses of this vaccine is possible.
In order to extract 9 or 11 doses from a single vial, low dead-volume syringes and needles should be used. If standard syringes and needles are used, there may not be sufficient volume to extract 9 or 11 doses from a single vial.
When extracting additional doses, also remember (irrespective of the type of syringe and needle used) that:
- Each dose must contain 0.5 mL of vaccine
- If the amount of vaccine remaining in the vial cannot provide a full dose of 0.5 mL, discard the vial and any excess volume
- Do not pool excess vaccine from multiple vials
If it is not possible to withdraw 9 or 11 doses, the waste category “no 9th or 11th dose available” should be recorded as a free text comment on the Foundry stock control system.
Administration requires diligent process control to ensure the vaccine is safe and effective at the point of use.
Use in relation to prior allergy
Prior to administration, prior allergy status should be checked.
Process flow for vaccination session
A diagram giving an overview of the process during a vaccination session is attached below.
SOPs, work instructions and checklists to adapt
Relevant Standard Operating Procedures, work instructions and checklists are available below. These may be adapted by Superintendent Pharmacists for use in Community Pharmacy settings.