Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Malawi to destroy 16 000 expired corona-virus vaccines


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Malawi will destroy more than 16,000 coronavirus vaccines given to the African Union by the impoverished country three weeks before the deadline, a health official said on Wednesday.
Malawi to destroy 16 000 expired corona-virus vaccines


South Africa received 102,000 doses of Oxford / AstraZeneca injections last month, but 16,400 were not given before the deadline.

"We will now destroy and remove them," Malawi Health Minister Charles Mwansambo told AFP.

Malawi launched a vaccination campaign in March with the goal of vaccinating 11 million people, or 60 percent of the population by the end of the year.

Less than half of the 530,000 doses donated by the Covax clearinghouse, the African Union and the Indian government were used.

Slow implantation is due in part to poor absorption due to reluctance of the vaccine.

“I am taking my time because there are many strange stories,” said 30-year-old Chipiliro Chilinjala, having lunch at a restaurant in the capital Lilongwe.

“I will wait to see if the people that got the initial vaccinations will have any reactions before I get mine.”

Vaccination rollouts have been particularly slow in Africa – the region least affected by the pandemic – where only around two percent of the world’s total number of shots have been administered to date.

The lag has been blamed on inadequate supplies, lack of financing and logistical problems.

“Our vaccination programme is struggling to get off the ground,” said Malawi immunologist Gama Bandawe, suggesting the country could have used the expired vaccines.

Coronavirus cases surged in Malawi earlier this year after months of relatively low infection levels.

To date, the country has recorded over 33 800 cases, of which at least 1 133 have been fatal.



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