Kenya to destroy 840,000 expired COVID-19 vaccine doses

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NAIROBI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will destroy 840,000 Astrazeneca vaccine doses following their expiry on Feb. 28, Mutahi Kagwe, the cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Health, said on Wednesday in Nairobi.

The vaccines are part of the 2.2 million doses Kenya received as a donation through the COVAX facility in January and had been distributed across the country.

Kagwe blamed the expiry on complacency among Kenyans and growing vaccine hesitancy.

"Astrazeneca has particularly had unique challenges. There has been complacency by Kenyans in taking up the jab following reduction in positivity rate and COVID-19 admissions. The daily vaccination rate has reduced from 252,000 recorded in early February to 30,000-40,000 daily," said Kagwe.

He further noted that preference of certain types of vaccines by Kenyans has led to decreased administration of Astrazeneca jabs.

"We continue to witness vaccine hesitancy due to misinformation and rumors especially around fertility issues," he added.

Going forward, he said, Kenya will only receive vaccine donations of doses whose shelf-life is at least four months from the day they are received.

Across Africa, expiry of vaccines has also been reported in Uganda, Malawi, Senegal and Nigeria.

Kenya has so far received some 27 million vaccine doses of Astrazeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm and Johnson& Johnson brands and administered 17.4 million of them, according to Kagwe.

Eight million people have been vaccinated fully with total COVID-19 cases standing at 323,319. Enditem

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