As only 2% of a 200 million population are fully vaccinated.
Nigerian Ministry of Health officials destroyed almost 2 million doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines in Abuja today.
The expired doses were destroyed by a bulldozer in a land fill site at the outskirts of the capital Abuja. Health officials had complained about the short shelf life of the vaccines donated by Western countries. Faisal Shuaib, executive director at Nigeria’s the National Primary Health Care Development Agency said. “We have successfully withdrawn 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines. We have kept our promise to be transparent to Nigerians. The destruction today is an opportunity for Nigerians to have faith in our vaccination program.”
Shuaib then complained that Nigeria was forced to take the donations knowing they will expire in two weeks. With an epileptic power supply and lack of refrigerating units led to rapid deterioration and they had to be destroyed. The vaccines came as donation from European countries participating in the COVAX vaccine sharing programme.
Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said his country would no longer accept vaccines with such short shelf lives after a meeting with the Presidential Health Advisory committee.
As of December 19, 13 million vaccine doses have been administered in a country where the population is about 200 million according the World Health Organisation data. Nigeria suffered over 300,000 infections and 3,000 deaths since the pandemic began in December 2019.
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