The program to help poorer nations to vaccinate their populations against Covid-19 is facing a problem, as many donations have a remaining shelf life too short to be properly distributed, a UN official has revealed.
In December alone, over 100 million doses offered to the UN’s COVAX program had to be rejected by aid recipients, most of them due to the looming expiration dates of the vaccines, Etleva Kadilli told the European Parliament on Thursday. The official heads the Supply Division of UNICEF, the UN’s agency for the betterment of children’s lives worldwide.
The agency later in the day said some 15.5 million of the doses rejected last month were reportedly destroyed. Some of the shipments were rejected by multiple countries.
Poorer nations have a number of issues with accepting the vaccines donated to them. Many lack storage capacity to receive shipments and have problems with rolling out vaccination campaigns due to factors like domestic instability and strained healthcare infrastructure.