The Federal Government through its agency, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) today at Gosa Dumpsite, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja destroyed over a million doses of expired COVID-19 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines.
The expiration, The Communicator Newsapaper learnt, was due to delay in the shipment of the vaccine doses, especially of the AstraZeneca vaccine occassioned by the inability of countries in rolling them out on time before expiration.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib speaking at Gosa Dumpsite, said that Nigeria had successfully withdrawn about 1,066,214, doses of expired Astra Zeneca vaccines from across the country and has joined other African countries, like Malawi, South Sudan, Liberia, Mauritania, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Comoros, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to destroy its expired COVID-19 vaccines.
According to him, Nigeria through the agency will continue to deliver on its promises to Nigerians in terms of providing and delivering quality health care as expected.
” We have come through in our promise to all Nigerians to be transparent in our delivery of vaccines. These vaccines did not expire before we took the decision to withdraw them today is an opportunity for Nigerians to have further faith in our vaccination program. Because we have lived up to the expectation 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 label expiry date, but working together with our sister agency, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), who took that decision to destroy these vaccines at the point that they got expired,”
The NPHCDA boss further added “This destruction exercise is to further demonstrate the high standards that the agency operate within Nigeria.
“The work that we do is the work that requires trust. It is a sacred trust that has been bestowed on us by the generalizing generality of Nigerians and hold that trust to be true. And we pride that trust very jealously. This is why today, we are destroying these vaccines that have expired.”
Dr. Shuaib however pledged governmnet’s total dedication and resolve to continue to safegurde the lives of its citizens adding that the destruction exercise demostrates government determination to satisfy and protect Nigerians.
We will continue to work tirelessly and on very extreme situations just to make sure that Nigerians have access to vaccines, even when these vaccines were not widely available. “We have able to vaccinate over 10 million Nigerians with these short shelf life vaccines.”
“My heart and my pride also goes out to those frontline health workers that continue to work around the clock.
“We still have short shelf life vaccines in the country. They are still potent. They have not reached the end of use dates and the health workers are still going around every community and settlement to ensure Nigerians are vaccinated,“ he explained.