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Over 90,000 COVID-19 vaccines in SA expire Thursday – SABC News

Health Department says it’s sad the country is sitting with too many untapped COVID-19 vaccines.

This as 92,000 vaccines expire on Thursday.

COVID-19 infection rates have declined in South Africa, but vaccination rates also appear to have stagnated as the government mulls over ending the National State of Disaster.

Khadija Jamaloodien, the health ministry’s director of affordable medicines, says demand for vaccines is not where it should be.

“We had the contracts for vaccines and received them in the country, so specifically for the Pfizer vaccine, it has a shorter shelf life. So it’s about nine months from manufacture to expiration date, and while we’ve received staggered shipments in the country to ensure those expiration dates stretch well into 2022, demand for vaccines hasn’t kept pace with what we had in stock .”

Jamaloodien goes into more detail in the following video:

Health department creates clarity

In a statement released Tuesday, the Health Ministry said it has “an obligation to ensure that all medical products, including vaccines, that have reached their expiry date are quarantined and disposed of appropriately.”

“To date (March 29, 2022) 33,405,701 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered and no unused vaccines have been discarded due to expiration at central storage facilities. However, at the end of March this month, approximately 92,370 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine will expire and be disposed of in accordance with the Minimum Standard for Disposal and Destruction of Medicines and Proposed Substances.”

“In contrast to the demand at the beginning of the vaccination program, the current demand for vaccines has decreased. The ministry continues to explore various options to reduce vaccine waste as a result of expiration, including exchange and donation through the COVAX facility,” the ministry adds.

The latest COVID-19 statistics from SA

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases has reported six more coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 100,020.

“There may be a backlog of reported COVID-19 deaths. Today, the NDoH is reporting 44 deaths, six of which have occurred in the last 24 to 48 hours,” the institute said in a statement.

The institute has also reported 1,679 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed infections to 3,717,067.

Below are the latest coronavirus statistics:

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Over 90,000 COVID-19 vaccines in SA expire Thursday – SABC News

Source link Over 90,000 COVID-19 vaccines in SA expire Thursday – SABC News

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