Nigeria’s Minister of Health says that Nigerians have rejected COVID-19 vaccines that have neared their expiry date or that could not be delivered on time.
Nigeria’s minister for health, Osagie Ehanire, was the one who revealed this information in a statement where he reacted to Reuters news agency reports that Nigeria destroyed one million Covid vaccines.
The federal government confirmed that it is true that some of the Covid vaccines expired in November 2021, but they have withdrawn them and the National Food and Drug Administration and Control will destroy them.
The COVID-19 vaccines are supplies that were developed in countries that donate them through COVAX, the vaccine sharing facility that the GAVI vaccine alliance and WHO lead.
But the minister said they delivered some of the donated vaccines close to when they would expire, and this would cause a serious challenge to receiving them, distributing them, and delivering them to users.
“That lives us for a very short time, some of them only a few weeks, after you deduct time to transport, clear, distribute, and deliver them to users.”He said
Ehanire said the matter of the donation of surplus COVID-19 vaccines which have a short or expiring shelf life is a serious issue of international concern.
“The Ministry of Health shares his experience with partners every time, and now we are politely rejecting all vaccine donations that have a short shelf life or the ones that are not able to be delivered on time.”
Nigeria has used most of the over 10 million short-shelf-life doses of COVID-19 vaccines that they have supplied to us so far, in good time, and we have saved N16.4 billion, or more than $40 million, in foreign exchange, said Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
This means that all vaccines with a shorter shelf life and which are delivered at a late time will not be received by the government to avoid complications.