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Nigeria to destroy one million doses of expired COVID vaccines

A community worker taking vaccines to rural Nigeria

A community worker taking vaccines to rural Nigeria

Nigerian health officials say some one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that expired before they could be used will be destroyed. Authorities have blamed the waste on donors who supplied doses that had only a brief shelf life. But Nigeria has also struggled to get people inoculated. 

The executive director of Nigeria's National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, made the announcement at a weekly COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Monday. He said about one million expired doses had been withdrawn from the country’s vaccine supply.

Shuaib added that authorities are working with the national drug control agency and the ministry of environment to ensure the vaccines are destroyed according to health, safety and environmental protocols.

"We're working with NAFDAC (National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control) to schedule a date for when this destruction will take place," said Shuaib. "There are protocols that NAFDAC and Abuja environmental protection agency will have to go through."

According to reports, the expired doses are donations from Europe, given to Nigeria through the international COVAX vaccine sharing program, and constitute the biggest number of vaccines to expire in any country.

Nigerian authorities last week attributed the expiration to the short shelf lives of the vaccines before they arrived. Authorities also acknowledged that logistics and bottlenecks involved in clearing the vaccines also led to loss of valuable time.

Experts say the issue exposes a much wider problem facing many African nations trying to manage vaccines with close expiration dates. Shuaib in Abuja stated that authorities will no longer be accepting such vaccines.

"The presidential steering committee has also stated that Nigeria will no longer accept vaccines with short shelf lives as they not only exert undue pressure on the health system but also on the people," said Shuaib.

Only about 3.6 per cent of Nigeria's adult population have been fully vaccinated, according to health officials. The figure represents less than one-tenth of the 40 per cent mark authorities had aimed for this year.

Nigerian authorities, like many of their African counterparts, have been struggling to get more people inoculated. Authorities blame slow uptake on a low turnout of eligible citizens for vaccination. They say that is the reason Nigeria is currently recording an increase in cases of coronavirus.


0 #1 kabayekka 2021-12-14 23:51
Of course this sort of laziness was foreseen coming. One wonders how long an imported product from China, Russia or Europe takes to arrive in Lagos and then to Abuja by air and sea?

If it was the military guns that were badly needed for Nigerian security, one hopes it would only take eight or ten hours by air.

And to arrive in Abuja by sea it would only take 2 to 3 weeks. This type of African governance is what has been advised against for sometime now.

African countries should have been working hard to cancel the lockdown and curfew so that all the infrastructure of their countries are directed to work for survival from the global pandemic.

But up to now two years on, schools are not open, vaccination is 20 percent, and the curfews are still in place where the African military police are shooting people who do not obey standard medical hygiene measures!
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0 #2 Lakwena 2021-12-16 11:07
In other words, how do we now know whether or not we are being vaccinated with-about to expire or expired Covid-19 Vaccines?

No wonder, in order to avoid the Nigerian Scandal; of all the people of Uganda, the people of Kasese are being vaccinated at gunpoint.

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