Kenya claims nearly 800,000 Covid vaccines have expired due to hesitancy
Kenya said on Wednesday that approximately 840,000 COVID-19 vaccinations donated by the country had expired, citing hesitation and short shelf life for the vaccines.
The AstraZeneca doses were provided to Kenya as part of the worldwide Covax vaccine equality effort, according to a statement from the health ministry.
“Any expired dosage means a squandered chance to save a life,” according to the government.
Approximately 30% of the target population in Kenya has been immunized against the coronavirus, although uptake has slowed significantly in recent weeks as illness frequency has decreased.
Earlier this month, over 252,000 immunizations were provided every day throughout the country, but that number has now dropped to as low as 30,000.
According to the government, uptake of the second vaccination has plummeted dramatically, while other Kenyans are avoiding specific vaccines, notably those manufactured by AstraZeneca.
“We continue to see vaccination hesitation due to rumors and disinformation, particularly with reproductive problems,” the ministry added.
However, it was also noticed that the expired vaccinations arrived in January but died on February 28, giving little time for them to reach arms.
“From now on, Kenya will only accept vaccine donations that have a shelf life of at least four months at the time of delivery,” the ministry said.
Kenya got around 27 million Covid-19 vaccinations but only provided approximately 17.3 million doses.
The ministry said that it has adequate vaccinations on hand and advised more Kenyans to get vaccinated in order to prevent more expirations.
“We must all take personal responsibility to ensure that when we have the potential to use available resources, we do not squander them.”
By the end of the year, the government hopes to have vaccinated 27 million Kenyans. So far, it has approximately eight million views.
According to government estimates, about 5,650 individuals have died from coronavirus since the first case was reported in Kenya on March 12, 2020.
Earlier this month, the government announced a relaxation of several Covid-19 regulations, including the removal of the need to wear a mask in public.