Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), announced today that the country will withdraw and destroy a million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that were beyond their date of use.
Last week, the Nigerian government confirmed reports that around a million doses of the AstraZeneca jab, which the country had received from Europe as part of the COVAX vaccine sharing initiative, expired in November.
Nigerian media said the vaccines were within four to six weeks of expiry when they arrived and couldn’t have been put to use in time.
Nigeria’s health minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire had earlier said that donation of surplus COVID-19 jabs with short or expiring shelf lives has been “of great concern internationally.”
According to the country’s top health official, Nigeria will also no longer be accepting vaccines with short shelf life, as it did previously.
No Nigerian citizens have been injected with expired vaccine; Shuaib assured during a briefing.
Only 3.900,000 of Nigeria’s population of over 211 million have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus so far, according to Shuaib.
The number of those who also received a booster shot on top of the first two jabs stood at just 496 people.