Nigeria – Nigeria will destroy one million Coid-19 vaccines amid the new variant of the Covid-19 virus, Omicron. Faisal Shuaib, head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) announced the news on Monday. He further said that his agency was working with drug regulator NAFDAC (National Agency for Food & Drug Administration & Control) to set a date for the destruction of expired Covid-19 vaccines.
While talking about the date of destruction, Faisal Shuaib said the country accepted Covid-19 vaccines with short shelf lives from international donor nations to vaccinate their people quickly. He further said that there was a vaccine scarcity in the past. However, they failed to vaccinate their people quickly even after getting supplies from other countries. Faisal Shuaib informed that now the country will not accept vaccines with a short shelf life.
Health Minister on expired Covid-19 vaccines in Nigeria
Earlier, Nigeria’s health minister Osagie Ehanire also said that some COVID-19 vaccines which were donated by international countries had a remaining shelf life of only weeks. He also said that the country is finding it difficult to vaccinate its people quickly. Subsequently, he confirmed the news that all expired vaccines have been withdrawn and will be destroyed soon.
According to a report by BBC, only about 3% of Nigeria’s population has received a full course of vaccines against Covid-19. Reportedly, other African countries have also been left with expired Covid-19 vaccines, including Malawi and South Sudan.
WHO on expired Covid-19 vaccines
The WHO (World Health Organisation) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention were called recently to talk on this matter and to avoid the wastage of vaccines. According to Reuters, the WHO’s vaccine director Kate O’Brien said that the proportion of wasted doses is smaller in countries receiving doses through COVAX than in many high-income countries.