poor countries refuse 100 million near-expired doses of vaccine

Poor countries refused last month to receive some 100 million doses of the Covid vaccine because their expiry date was approaching, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The World Health Organization has repeatedly accused rich countries of grabbing vaccines and giving poor countries only vaccines with a short shelf life. A “moral shame“, for the WHO.

At the end of December, Nigeria thus incinerated more than a million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine given a few months ago by developed countries but whose expiry date was approaching and which had expired.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), which plays a major role in the international Covax mechanism as the main logistics partner for the distribution of vaccines in disadvantaged countries, the latter now refuse to receive doses whose expiration date is too close.

In December, “more than one hundred million doses have been refused“, declared the director of the Supply Division of Unicef, Etleva Kadilli, before the Committee on Development of the European Parliament.

The majority of refusals were due to the expiry date“, did she say.

She explained that these countries need doses that can be stored long enough in order to be able to better plan vaccination campaigns and to be able to vaccinate “populations living in hard-to-reach areas and fragile contexts“.

The official also explained that about a third of the doses provided by Covax were donations from European countries.

Leave a Reply