Covid vaccines: Why is Nigeria unable to use its supply?

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Image source, Getty Images

Only astir 3% of Nigeria's colonisation has received a afloat people of vaccines against Covid - a debased complaint adjacent compared with different countries successful Africa. For South Africa, the fig is 24%.

However, it's emerged that Nigeria has a ample stockpile of out-of-date vaccines which has gone unused.

This could beryllium as galore arsenic 1 cardinal doses according to the Reuters quality agency.

The wellness ministry says each expired vaccines person been withdrawn and volition beryllium destroyed.

What vaccines has Nigeria been sent?

Nigeria, among different African countries, struggled to entree Covid vaccines earlier this twelvemonth arsenic wealthier nations, which had secured aboriginal deals, were fixed precedence by manufacturers.

Many African states were besides relying connected the Covax scheme, which itself experienced difficulties earlier successful the twelvemonth gathering its commitments to proviso vaccines, peculiarly crossed Africa.

But successful caller weeks, transportation has improved arsenic wealthier countries began releasing stocks they were holding, mostly via the Covax system.

Nigeria received 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK successful August, and 800,000 from Canada successful September, with a further 500,000 coming from France successful October.

Around the aforesaid time, Nigeria besides received 4 cardinal doses of the Moderna vaccine and 3.6m Pfizer doses from the US.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Nigeria past period launched a wide vaccination run to promote much radical to instrumentality the vaccine

How agelong tin the vaccines beryllium kept?

The AstraZeneca doses would usually beryllium harmless to support for astatine slightest six months from the clip of manufacture, nether suitable conditions.

But the Nigerian wellness ministry says immoderate of the donated vaccines person been delivered adjacent to expiry, posing superior logistical challenges.

"That near america precise abbreviated time, immoderate conscionable weeks, to usage them, aft deduction of clip to transport, clear, administer and present to users," said Nigeria's wellness curate Osagie Ehanire.

Because specified vaccines tin get back-to-back, helium said, bottlenecks occasionally arise.

The authorities present says expired vaccines volition beryllium destroyed, and "it present politely declines each vaccine donations with abbreviated support beingness oregon those that cannot beryllium delivered successful time".

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

You request impervious of vaccination to entree immoderate authorities offices successful Nigeria

Have expired vaccinations been a occupation elsewhere?

Other African countries person besides antecedently been near with expired vaccine doses, including Malawi and South Sudan.

Others, specified arsenic the Democratic Republic of Congo, returned their unused vaccine stocks to beryllium distributed to different countries to debar expiry.

In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) said astir 450,000 doses had expired successful 8 African countries, earlier they could beryllium administered owed to abbreviated expiry dates.

The WHO and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention precocious called for a alteration successful the mode vaccine donations are made, to debar wastage.

"Having to program astatine abbreviated announcement and guarantee uptake of doses with abbreviated support lives exponentially magnifies the logistical load connected wellness systems that are already stretched," they said successful a statement.

They privation donated vaccines to person a minimum of 2 and a fractional months of support beingness remaining by the clip they get successful the benefiting country.

They privation recipient countries to beryllium made alert of the donations a period earlier they are delivered, and they accidental they should besides beryllium sent with different indispensable supplies, specified arsenic syringes.

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