The Federal Government of Nigeria has destroyed about 1,066,214 doses of Astrazeneca vaccines donated to the country to combat COVID-19.
The destruction carried out on Wednesday in Abuja, according to the government, followed the expiration of the vaccines given to the country by foreign donors.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA handed the vaccines to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, which in turn, presented them to the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency to destroy at Gosa Dumsite, at Kilometer 2, near Idu Railway Station, in Abuja.
The destruction was supervised by the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, and the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, respectively.
Speaking shortly before the destruction was carried out, NPHCDA’s Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, explained that the action was carried out on behalf of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, comprising also the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
“We had promised you in the last couple of days that we have successfully withdrawn about 1,066,214 of expired Astrazenecal vaccine. As you can see, this vaccine has now been deposited by the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency.
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“We have come through in 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,” he said.
According to Dr Faisal Shuaib, “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 labeled expiry date. But working together with my sister, the DG of NAFDAC, we took that decision to destroy the vaccines at the point that they got expired,” he added.