Lower-income countries forced to reject 100m expiring Covid-19 vaccines
Rapid expiration dates and a lack of storage facilities left lower-income countries with no choice but to reject more than 100m vital doses of Covid vaccines distributed by the global Covax scheme last month, a Unicef official has said.
“More than a 100 million have been rejected just in December alone,” Etleva Kadilli, director of Supply Division at UN agency Unicef told lawmakers at the European Parliament.
The main reason for rejection was the delivery of doses with a short shelf-life, she said. Countries have also been forced to delay supplies because they are unable to store them properly, said Kadilli, citing a lack of fridges for vaccines.
Unicef’s data on supplies and use of delivered vaccines show that 681m shipped doses are currently unused in about 90 lower-income nations across the world, according to CARE, a charity, which extracted the figures from a public database.
More than 30 countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, have so far used fewer than half of the doses they have received, CARE said, citing Unicef data