One Million Covid-19 Vaccine Doses Expire, Destroyed in Nigeria

The Nigerian government has confirmed the report of the expiration of doses of vaccines supplied to the country, blaming it on the short shelf life.

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire has said that the expired vaccines were withdrawn and will be destroyed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, which controls drug and foods standards. The minister however failed to confirm the number of expired vaccines, or their brand.

This comes after Reuters reported that up to one million Covid-19 vaccines are estimated to have expired in Nigeria in November 2021 without being used. Nigeria received 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK in August 2021, and 800,000 from Canada in September 2021, with a further 500,000 from France in October 2021.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation with over 200 million people. Fewer than 4% of adults have been fully vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization. 

African governments have been pushing for more vaccine deliveries as innoculation rates lag richer regions, increasing the risk of new variants such as the Covid-19 Omicron variant now spreading across Africa and the rest of the world.


A vial of the Covid-19 vaccine (file photo).

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