Thousands of AstraZeneca vaccines will expire next month
Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony on Thursday revealed that thousands of doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are on the verge of expiring.
During his daily COVID-19 update, the Health Minister said that these almost expired vaccines are for people who are due for their second jab. Dr Anthony said these vaccines are slated to expire by the end of November.
Last week, Dr Anthony revealed that more than 55,000 people are due to receive their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“If they don’t come and by the end of November these vaccines will expire, then we won’t have any in stock and we will have to wait until we get another shipment or purchase another shipment.
“….and that is very unfortunate because if you get the vaccine, you want to make sure that people use it so that they can protect themselves,” Dr Anthony emphasised.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in July released a document to help guide countries to ensure the utilisation of all available vaccine doses before the expiry date and proposed options for accelerating vaccine utilisation.
The vaccine expiration dates are set by the manufacturer.
At the end of September, the News Room had reported that the government halted the administration of the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Health Minister had explained then that of the over 200,000 doses of this vaccine that arrived in the country since February this year, half of that number had to be set aside for second doses.
Meanwhile, to date, 380, 257 (74.1 per cent) adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 241, 211 (47 per cent) are fully vaccinated.
In terms of the vaccination rollout in children aged 12 to 18, 27, 193 (37.3 per cent) received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and 17, 868 (24.5 per cent) are fully vaccinated.
“When you look at how much persons got their first dose, and how much got their second there is a difference of 139, 000 people so there is still a lot of people who need to come back to get their second dose vaccine.
“We are appealing to people to come and get vaccinated.”
There are three other COVID-19 vaccines available for adults; the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, the Chinese-made Sinopharm, and the US single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Below is the Regional breakdown of the second dose vaccination rate:
Region One: 40.4 per cent
Region Two: 39.2 per cent
Region Three: 44.7 per cent
Region Four: 53.7 per cent
Region Five: 45.7 per cent
Region Six: 47.2 per cent
Region Seven: 42.4 per cent
Region Eight: 32 per cent
Region Nine: 51.2 per cent
Region Ten: 17.7 per cent