Malawi to destroy 16,000 expired COVID-19 vaccines

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Malawi will destroy over 16,000 expired coronavirus vaccines donated to the impoverished country by the African Union three weeks before their use-by-date, a health official said Wednesday.

The southern African country received 102,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs last month but 16,400 were not administered before they expired.

“We will now destroy and dispose of (them),” Malawi’s health secretary Charles Mwansambo said.

Malawi launched its inoculation campaign in March with the aim of immunizing 11 million people, or 60 percent of the population by the end of 2021.

Less than half of the 530,000 doses donated by the Covax vaccine sharing facility, the African Union and the Indian government have been administered.

The sluggish rollout is partially blamed on low uptake due to vaccine hesitancy.

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