Up to 1 million COVID vaccines expired in Nigeria last month

A person stands next to a vehicle and expired AstraZeneca vaccines at the Gosa dumpsite in Abuja [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters]
(Reuters) – Up to one million COVID-19 vaccines are estimated to have expired in Nigeria last month without being used, two sources told Reuters, one of the biggest single losses of doses that shows the difficulty African nations have getting shots in arms.

Governments on the continent of over one billion people have been pushing for more vaccine deliveries as inoculation rates lag richer regions, increasing the risk of new variants such as the Omicron coronavirus now spreading across South Africa.

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and home to more than 200 million people, fewer than 4% of adults have been fully vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

A recent surge in supply has caused a new problem, however: many African countries are finding they do not have the capacity to manage the shots, some of which come with a short shelf life.

The expired doses were made by AstraZeneca (AZN.L) and delivered from Europe, the sources with direct knowledge of vaccine delivery and use told Reuters. They were supplied via COVAX, the dose-sharing facility led by the GAVI vaccine alliance and the WHO which is increasingly reliant on donations.

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About Cholo Brooks 17446 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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