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WATCH 1 million+ Covid vaccines destroyed by bulldozer

A massive quantity of out-of-date AstraZeneca vaccines was trashed at a dump site in the city of Abuja on Wednesday, with a bulldozer seen crushing the medicines in footage obtained by Reuters. Officials later announced the move, an apparent bid to quell fears that the expired immunizations were being administered to residents.

“We have successfully withdrawn 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines. We have kept our promise to be transparent to Nigerians. The destruction today is an opportunity for Nigerians to have faith in our vaccination program,” said Faisal Shuaib, executive director at Nigeria’s the National Primary Health Care Development Agency. - услуги фрилансеров от 500 руб.

Shuaib also told reporters that, despite knowing the doses would expire in just two weeks, Nigeria was effectively forced to take the donations, as Covid-19 vaccines remain scarce across much of Africa. The shots were delivered from multiple European countries participating in the COVAX vaccine sharing program.

Following a presidential committee meeting, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said his country would no longer accept immunizations with such short shelf-lives.

Onlookers watch as 1 million expired AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine doses are destroyed at a dump site in Abuja, Nigeria, December 22, 2021. ©  Reuters / Afolabi Sotunde

Concerns over the expiration dates of the donated AstraZeneca shots were raised earlier this month, after Nigerian authorities noted the fast-approaching deadline to use up the vaccines. An earlier report in Reuters, however, suggested that some 1 million doses had already passed their date by November.

READ MORE: South Africa’s hospitalization rate plunges amid Omicron wave

As of December 19, the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 13 million vaccine doses have been administered in Nigeria, which boasts a population in excess of 200 million, making it the continent’s most populous nation. The country has recorded more than 227,000 coronavirus infections and nearly 3,000 deaths since the pandemic kicked off in late 2019.

AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines are seen after 1 million expired doses were destroyed, in Abuja, Nigeria, December 22, 2021. ©  Reuters / Afolabi Sotunde

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