Vaccines expired because of short shelf live Ehanire discloses.
Nigerian Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire has clarified why one million doses of the donated COVID-19 vaccines provided to Nigeria by some international donors expired. He guaranteed Nigerians that no expired COVID-19 vaccines are in circulation, pointing out that vaccine expiration was not only particular in Nigeria.The 75-year-old hinted that the best way to eliminate such events is for Nigeria to begin production of its own vaccines.
Dr Ehanire made this remark in Abuja while responding to an online publication which says about one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had expired in November.
“We appreciate the kind gesture of donors, but also communicated the challenge of short shelf lives, whereupon some manufacturers offered to extend the vaccine shelf life after the fact, by 3 months, a practice that, though accepted by experts, is declined by the Federal Ministry of Health, because it is not accommodated in our standards. Nigeria does not dispense vaccines with a validity extended beyond labeled expiry date. We continue to adhere to our rigorous standards,” Ehanire pointed.
“Donation of surplus Covid-19 vaccines with expiring shelf lives to developing countries has been a matter of international discussion. Developing countries like Nigeria accept them because they close our critical vaccine supply gaps and, being free, save us scarce foreign exchange procurement costs. This dilemma is not typical to Nigeria, but a situation in which many low and medium-income countries find themselves.”
Dr Ehanire added: “Nigeria has utilized most of the over 10 million short-shelf-life doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far supplied to us, in good time, and saved N16.4 billion or more than $40m in foreign exchange. The vaccines that expired had been withdrawn before then, and will be destroyed accordingly, by NAFDAC.
As of December 6, 2021 the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) say about 7,244,620 of the total eligible individuals had taken their first dose of the vaccine. Also 3,811,693 had received their second dose and we’re fully vaccinated.
Featured Image Source: Guardian NG