FG destroys over 1m donated doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines

December 22, 2021
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The Nigerian government has destroyed 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines at a dumpsite in Abuja on Wednesday.

The destruction came more than a week after health authorities said several COVID-19 doses donated to Nigeria have a short shelf life and expired before administration.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr  Faisal Shuaib, led the destruction at Gosa Dumpsite, about 2km from the Idu Railway Station, Abuja.

“We withdrew about 1,066,214, doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines from across the country,” he saidThe News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria joined other African countries, like  Malawi, South Sudan, Liberia, Mauritania, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Comoros, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in destroying the expired COVID-19 vaccines.

“As you can see these vaccines have now been deposited by the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency. “We have come through in our promise to all Nigerians to be transparent in our delivery of vaccines. 

“These vaccines did not expire before we took the decision to withdraw them. Today is an opportunity for Nigerians to have further faith in our vaccination programme.“We worked with our sister agency, the  National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), who took that decision to destroy these vaccines at the point that they got expired.

“The work that we do is the work that requires trust. It is a sacred trust that has been bestowed on us by the generalizing generality of Nigerians and hold that trust to be true,” he added.He noted that the heroes of today’s activity were actually the frontline health workers. 

“A few months ago, when these vaccines were offered to us, we knew that they had a short shelf life. But we were living in an environment where the supply of COVID-19 vaccines were very scarce. 

“They were not available due to vaccine nationalism. Some developed countries that procured these vaccines, hoarded them in their stores,” he said.

He commended members of staff of the NPHCDA who worked Saturdays or Sundays on very extreme situations to make sure that Nigerians have access to vaccines.

“We were able to vaccinate over 10 million Nigerians.

“So my heart and my pride goes out to those frontline health workers that continue to work around the clock.

“We still have short shelf life vaccines in the country. They are still potent. 

“They have not reached the end of use dates and the health workers are still going around every communities and settlement to ensure Nigerians are vaccinated.

“This decision has saved Nigeria over 40 million dollars,” he added.

 NAN

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