Health chiefs have extended the shelf life of Pfizer's Covid jabs over fears millions of injections would have to be binned.
A slowdown in the booster drive prompted concerns that life-saving doses would end up being wasted.
But NHS bosses have now been given permission to push back the expiry date of 20 batches of Pfizer's vaccines by two weeks, it was revealed today.
The batches — which are transported and stored in ultra-cold freezers — can now be kept in fridges for 45 days after they are thawed. Previously, they were no longer usable after 31 days.
Officials said the move, which was approved by both Pfizer and the UK's drug safety watchdog, would allow more patients to be vaccinated over the coming days.
NHS England did not confirm how many doses were affected, but Pfizer confirmed only the specified batches now have a 45-day shelf life.
But both the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and Pfizer said the extension does not affect the 'safety, quality or efficacy' of the jabs.