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Donors Called Out for Bringing Near to Expiration Vaccines

Africa’s top public health bodies have called for donated COVID-19 vaccines to come with a shelf life of three to six months so countries could plan their rollouts and avoid a situation where doses expire. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said 2.8 million doses of vaccine had expired on the continent, roughly 0.5 percent of the 572 million doses delivered to date. He said 10.4 percent of Africans were fully vaccinated. Nkengasong said the expired doses were mostly among those donated by individual countries or via the global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX, and that they had arrived with “very short notice”. In contrast, doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine acquired by African countries via a scheme organised by the 55-member African Union and delivered with a longer shelf life had not expired, he said. He said some countries were now refusing to accept vaccines when they saw that the shelf life was only one or two months.