Africa’s top public health organisations have called for donated COVID-19 vaccines to come with a shelf life of at least three to six months, to enable beneficiary countries to have enough time to plan and execute a rollout before they expire.
John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, said 2.8 million doses of vaccine had expired on the continent, roughly 0.5% of the accumulated 572 million doses donated so far.
“In terms of the 0.5%, let me be very clear, any dose of vaccine that expired pains me because that is a life that can be potentially saved,” Nkengasong told a news briefing on Thursday
Last week Uganda for instance announced plans to destroy 400,000 doses of covid 19 vaccines which were meant to be utilized in a mass vaccination exercise due to the same reason.
In December last year, Nigeria also destroyed over one million expired doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.In a separate briefing, the World Health Organization regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, echoed Nkengasong’s call.