Malawi health authorities have destroyed 19,610 doses of expired AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, stating that the move would boost public confidence in the country’s vaccine programme.
Health Minister Kandodo Chiponda put some of the vials of the expired doses into an incinerator to start the destruction at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, the capital.
The doses were part of a batch of 102,000 vaccines which arrived on March 26, under an initiative by the African Union and the World Health Organization.
They expired on April 13, leaving less than three weeks for them to be used. Malawi managed to deploy about 80 percent of them by that time.
The destruction of the vaccines was witnessed by several top officials “in order to enhance transparency
Last month, the WHO urged African nations not to destroy expired doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine after several countries received doses from India with a very short shelf life.
But this week, WHO reversed its position and said the vaccines should be destroyed.