Nairobi, March 24 (IANS) Kenya will destroy 840,000 Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses following their expiry on February 28, a top official at the Health Ministry said.
The vaccines are part of the 2.2 million doses Kenya received as a donation through the COVAX facility in January and had been distributed across the country, Xinhua news agency quoted Mutahi Kagwe, the cabinet secretary for the Ministry, as saying here.
Kagwe blamed the expiry on complacency among Kenyans and growing vaccine hesitancy.
"Astrazeneca has particularly had unique challenges. There has been complacency by Kenyans in taking up the jab following reduction in positivity rate and Covid-19 admissions. The daily vaccination rate has reduced from 252,000 recorded in early February to 30,000-40,000 daily."
He further noted that preference of certain types of vaccines by Kenyans has led to decreased administration of Astrazeneca jabs.
"We continue to witness vaccine hesitancy due to misinformation and rumours especially around fertility issues."
Going forward, he said, Kenya will only receive vaccine donations of doses whose shelf-life is at least four months from the day they are received.
Across Africa, expiry of vaccines has also been reported in Uganda, Malawi, Senegal and Nigeria.
Kenya has so far received some 27 million vaccine doses of Astrazeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson brands and administered 17.4 million of them, according to Kagwe.
Eight million people have been fully vaccinated.
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