NIGERIA’S federal government has destroyed about 1,066,214 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines donated to the country because they remained unused up until their expiry date and are no longer fit for human consumption.
With no pharmaceutical company producing a vaccine locally, Nigeria is wholly dependent on foreign donations for its anti-coronavirus drugs. However, these drugs are shipped at the convenience of the donor and due to the lack of adequate local transportation and storage facilities, they do not always get to the people before they expire.
Yesterday, the destruction of the expired drugs was supervised by the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib and the director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye. These expired drugs were destroyed at Gosa Dumsite, at Kilometre Two, near Idu Railway Station in Abuja.
Dr Shuaib said: “We had promised you in the last couple of days that we have successfully withdrawn about 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines. As you can see, this vaccine has now been deposited by the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency.
“We have come through on our promise to all Nigerians to be transparent in our delivery of vaccines. These did not expire before we took the decision to withdraw them.
“Today is an opportunity for Nigerians to have further faith in our vaccination programme because we have lived up to the expectations of all Nigerians. We had the option if we were to take the advice of some experts to try and use these vaccines even beyond the labelled expiry date but working together with Nafdac, we took that decision to destroy the vaccines at the point that they got expired.”