We’ve withdrawn expired COVID-19 vaccines in circulation – FG

December 9, 2021
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The Federal Ministry of Health Wednesday said some vaccine given by donors had residual shelf lives and those that are expired has since been withdrawn.

Following a report published by Reuters, which stated that over one million doses of coronavirus vaccines expired in the country last month, the ministry in a statement signed by the minister, Osagie Ehanire, said the vaccines were received in form of donations through COVAX and AVATT facility and they had residual shelf lives, leaving the country with a limited period to facilitate distribution and usage.

The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Health has been drawn to reports circulating in the media to the effect that some COVID-19 vaccines had expired in Nigeria.

“This press statement is to properly brief the public and set records right. Nigeria has, of late, enjoyed the generosity of several, mainly European countries, who have offered us doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of their stockpiles, free of charge, through COVAX or AVAT facility…

“Donors also recognise a need to give away unused vaccines, before they expire in their own stock, but they need to begin the process early enough and create a well-oiled pathway for prompt shipment and distribution through the COVAX and AVAT facilities, to reduce risk of expiration. With better coordination, vaccines need not expire in the stock of Donors or Recipients.

“Nigeria has utilised most of the over 10m short-shelf-life doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far supplied to us, in good time, and saved N16.4b or more than $40m in foreign exchange. The vaccines that expired had been withdrawn before then and will be destroyed accordingly by NAFDAC.”

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