Close to Expiry; Poorer Nations Reject Over 100mn Covid-19 Vaccines
15 January 2022 10:31 WIB
COVAX, which is co-led by the World Health Organization, has so far delivered 987 million COVID-19 vaccines to 144 countries, according to data from Gavi.
COVAX is the main supplier of doses to dozens of poorer nations, but is not the only one. Some countries buy doses on their own or use other regional vaccine procurement programs.
Supplies to poorer nations have long been very limited because of the lack of vaccines, as wealthier states secured most of the doses initially available from December 2020.
But in the last quarter, shipments have exponentially increased thanks to donations from rich countries that have vaccinated the majority of their populations.
In January, 67% of the population in richer nations had been fully vaccinated, whereas only 8% in poorer nations have received their first dose, WHO figures show.
Increased supply caught many receiving countries unprepared.
"We have countries that are pushing doses that are currently available towards quarter two of 2022," Kadilli said.
Of the 15 million doses from the EU that have been refused, three-quarters were AstraZeneca shots with a shelf life of fewer than 10 weeks upon arrival, according to a UNICEF slide.
Wealthy countries donating vaccines with a relatively short shelf life has been a "major problem" for COVAX, a WHO senior official said last month. read more
"You want to have adequate time to move vaccines from depots," Kenya's health ministry spokesperson Mburugu Gikunda said, noting doses close to expiry would go wasted if accepted.
Reuters reported in December that up to one million vaccines were estimated to have expired in Nigeria in November without being used.