It is the most populous country in Africa but also one of the lagging behind on the continent in vaccinating against the coronavirus.
single About 3% of the Nigerian population received both doses COVID-19 vaccines, which is a very low rate, even compared to other countries in Africa.
South Africa, for example, has 24% of the population fully vaccinated.
However, Nigeria has been reported to have A large stock of expired vaccines that you have not used. And that, according to Reuters, may reach one million doses.
The Nigerian Ministry of Health says that everything Expired vaccines have been withdrawn and will be destroyed.
What vaccines were shipped to Nigeria?
Nigeria, like other African countries, struggled to get COVID-19 vaccines earlier this year because manufacturers gave priority to wealthier nations, which signed deals prematurely.
Several African countries have also relied on the Covax plan, which at the beginning of the year struggled to meet vaccine supply commitments, especially across Africa.
But in recent weeks, delivery has improved: Rich countries have begun to release the reserves they have, largely through the Covax system.
Nigeria received 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK in August, 800,000 from Canada in September and 500,000 from France in October.
Around the same time, Nigeria also received four million doses of Moderna and 3.6 million doses of Pfizer from the United States.
How long can vaccines be kept?
AstraZeneca doses are usually safe to store for at least six months from the time of manufacture, under appropriate conditions.
But Nigeria’s health ministry says some of the vaccines given to it are nearing expiry, posing serious logistical challenges.
“This has left us with very little time, in some cases only weeks, to use it, after the time has passed for its transmission, distribution and delivery to users,” Health Minister Osaji Ihaner said.
He added that since vaccines can arrive one by one, bottlenecks have arisen from time to time.
The government now says that expired vaccines will be destroyed and “politely rejects all donations of vaccines that have little time left before expiration or those that cannot be delivered on time”.
Were expired vaccines a problem elsewhere?
Other African countries have also been left with expired vaccines, including Malawi and South Sudan.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for its part, has returned unused vaccines for distribution in other countries to avoid their expiration.
In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that some 450,000 doses have expired in eight African countries, before they can be eaten due to their short expiration dates.
The World Health Organization and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently called for a change in the way vaccines are donated to avoid waste.
“Having to plan at short notice and ensure consumption of doses with short shelf lives significantly increases the logistical burden on already overburdened health systems,” they said in a statement.
the two organizations I requested that the donated vaccines be at least two and a half months old Useful life upon arrival in the recipient country.
and that recipient countries are informed of donations a month before they are delivered. Additionally, they expect it to be shipped with additional basic supplies such as syringes.