Nigeria on Wednesday destroyed more than a million doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines in a bid to assure a wary public that they have been taken out of circulation.
The destruction came more than a week after health authorities said some Covid-19 doses donated by rich Western nations had a shelf life that left only weeks to administer the shots. Reuters reported on Dec. 7 that around one million Covid-19 vaccines were estimated to have expired in Nigeria in November without being used.
At a dump site in Abuja, a bulldozer crushed AstraZeneca shots that were packed in cardboard boxes and plastic as reporters and health officials watched.
Faisal Shuaib, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency executive director told reporters that a shortage of vaccine supplies on the continent, had forced Nigeria to take the doses, knowing fully well they had a short shelf life.
"We have successfully withdrawn 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines. We have kept our promise to be transparent to Nigerians. The destruction today is an opportunity for Nigerians to have faith in our vaccination programme," Shuaib said.