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FG to destroy over 1m expired AstraZeneca vaccines

The Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, PSC says over a million doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines would be destroyed publicly, in line with environmental protocol.

The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuiab, disclosed Monday in Abuja, at an emergency media briefing by PSC on COVID-19.

He said the decision to destroy the vaccine publicly was to assure Nigerians that there was no intention to use them.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had on December 8th confirmed the report of the expiration of doses of vaccines supplied to the country.

Dr Faisal Shuaib disclosed that over 10 million vaccines with short-shelf life received free of charge have been administered so far in the country.

According to the NPHCDA boss, the country will no longer accept vaccines with short-shelf life as it mounts undue pressure on health workers the clock to administer them.

He noted that vaccines were available in all its designated public, private, secondary and tertiary health facilities.

“As of today, the 13th of December 2021, 7,894,068 eligible persons have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria. This represents 7.1% of the eligible population required to be vaccinated.

“The total of fully vaccinated eligible people in Nigeria is 3,969,325 representing 3.6% of the eligible population. 496 persons have received their booster doses,” he added.
 
Dr Faisal Shuaib said that In recent times, the world begins to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases globally due to a new variant called the OMICRON variant.

“Mutation of COVID-19 occurs when the population remains unvaccinated. An unvaccinated community allows the virus an opportunity to thrive, grow and build up more attack mechanisms against our immune system.
 
“In Nigeria, we are now beginning to see an increased number of cases due to the fact that most of our eligible population have not presented themselves for vaccination. With increasing travels and interaction these ember months, the virus is still thriving and spreading within the communities because our eligible population have remained unvaccinated,” he added.

 Shuaib noted that the COVID-19 was unable to replicate and cannot survive for long in a vaccinated individual.

He further noted that the joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine Monitoring and Accountability was present in all states and local Government Areas across the country and was working in a variety of ways to ensure that the vaccination exercise was secured against fraudulent and criminal activities.

Reporting by Emmanuel Kutara; editing by Abdullahi Lamino