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Regional News of Thursday, 15 April 2021


Northern Region to dispose of about 2,000 expired AstraZeneca vaccines

Ghana will have to dispose of some COVID-19 vaccines because of expiry dates on the shots according to authorities.

The Northern Region alone is estimating that some 2,000 shots of AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccines will expire tomorrow, April 16 and thus will have to be disposed of.

According to the Regional Director for Public Health, Hilarius Abiwu, who spoke to the national broadcaster, GBC, the AstraZeneca shots which were produced in October 2020 have a life span of 6-months.

“So effectively, that six months will be on the 16th of this month,” he told the GBC. He furthered that a safety directive by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to hold off vaccinations a few days to the date of expiry means his outfit must halt administering jabs from Wednesday, April 14.
Mr Abiwu added: “three days ago, we had more than 5000 doses. And more than 2,000 close to 3,000 of these doses were taken up by people.”

The development comes amid rising concerns relative to the uptake of vaccines across the country even though reports indicate that over 800,000 people nationwide had received their first shots.

It is not known as yet what volumes of vaccines other regions will have to dispose of considering that the largest consignment so far is the 600,000 doses that were supplied via the COVAX platform.

Ghana became the first country under the COVAX facility – a global equitable vaccine sharing platform led by the WHO and other international partners.

The vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India arrived in Ghana in late February following which a national roll-out was started in early March.

Another African country on record to have spoken about destroying expired vaccines is Malawi, where some estimated 16,400 doses supplied by the AU is to be destroyed, the health minister confirmed.

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