African nation to destroy 1 million Covid-19 vaccines
Nigeria is going to destroy a million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, a top health official has said, promising that the country will no longer be accepting jabs with short shelf life.
The vaccines that were beyond their date of use have been withdrawn and will be destroyed in line with the protocol, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said on Monday.
No Nigerian citizens have been injected with expired jabs, Shuaib assured during a briefing. The country will accept no more fast-expiring vaccines, as it did previously, he added.
So far, only 3.9 million of Nigeria’s population of over 211 million people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Shuaib.
The number of those who also received a booster shot on top of the first two stood at just 496 people.
Last week, the Nigerian government confirmed reports that around a million doses of the AstraZeneca jab, which the country had received from Europe as part of the COVAX vaccine sharing initiative, expired in November.
The media said the vaccines were within four to six weeks of expiry when they arrived and couldn’t have been put to use in time.
Nigerian health minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire had earlier pointed out that donation of surplus Covid-19 jabs with short or expiring shelf lives has been “of great concern internationally.”