National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in partnership with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) yesterday destroyed 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines.
The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, supervised the burning of the vaccines after inspecting cartons of the expired AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines at the Gosa Dump Ste, near Idu Railway Station in Abuja.
She told journalists that of the 2,594,100 doses of vaccines received on the 11th and 29th October, 2021, 1,527,886 were utilised in the country.
Adeyeye said the decision to destroy the vaccines came after several testing processes by the quality control department in NAFDAC which were conducted under federal government’s policies to ensure that vaccines were properly examined.
The NAFDAC boss said it became necessary to destroy the vaccines to protect Nigerians from being harmed and reassured the media, civil society groups and the general public that by 2022, Nigeria would start producing its COVID-19 vaccines, rather than depending on developing countries.
Earlier, the executive secretary of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said the vaccines came with a short life span, some as short as two weeks to their expiration.
He described the situation as unfortunate, saying that Nigeria appreciates the gesture of the donors, but it was not in the interest of the country to keep the vaccines.
Shuaib said only about 10 million Nigerians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, he, however, expressed optimism that the country will meet its target of vaccinating 110 million citizens.