WATCH 1 million+ Covid vaccines destroyed by bulldozer — Analysis
Nigerian officials have disposed of hundreds of thousands of old coronavirus vaccine shots. This was in response to complaints from Western countries about their short shelf life.
A large quantity of AstraZeneca-outdated vaccines was discarded at a Abuja landfill site on Wednesday. Reuters captured footage of a bulldozer breaking down the medications. Later, officials announced that they had made the decision to dole out the vaccines in order to reduce fears of residents not being vaccinated.
“We have successfully withdrawn 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines. We kept our word to Nigerians that we would be open to them. The destruction today is an opportunity for Nigerians to have faith in our vaccination program,” said Faisal Shuaib, executive director at Nigeria’s the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Shuaib said that despite the fact that they would be expired in less than two weeks, Nigeria was forced to donate the vaccines because Covid-19 is still very scarce in most of Africa. Multiple European countries participated in the COVAX vaccination sharing program provided shots.
Osagie Ehanire, the Health Minister of Nigeria, stated that his country will no longer accept vaccines having a short shelf life after a meeting with the presidential committee.
After Nigerian officials noted that the deadline for the use of donated AstraZeneca vaccines was fast approaching, concerns were raised about the dates on which the AstraZeneca shot donations will expire. However, Reuters reported that 1,000,000 doses of vaccines were already past their expiration date as early November.
READ MORE: South Africa’s hospitalization rate plunges amid Omicron wave
As of December 19, the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 13 million vaccine doses have been administered in Nigeria, which boasts a population in excess of 200 million, making it the continent’s most populous nation. More than 227 000 coronavirus cases and close to 3,000 deaths have been recorded in the country since late 2019 when the pandemic began.