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Malawi Destroys 19 000 Expired Coronavirus Vaccines

Malawi has become the first African country to publicly burn thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Health authorities in the central African country have burned 19 610 expired doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, saying it will reassure the public that any vaccines they do get are safe.

So far, the uptake of coronavirus vaccines has been low, mostly because of widespread misinformation around their use.

Officials fear that using vaccines past their expiry date will further reduce public trust.

However, the government in Malawi is optimistic that the uptake will improve once they get the next batch from Covax.

Malawi’s Principal Health Secretary Dr Charles Mwansambo told the BBC that it was unfortunate they had to destroy the vials but the benefits outweighed the risks. He said:

When news spread that we had out-of-date vaccines, we noticed that people were not coming to our clinics to get immunised.

If we don’t burn them, people will think that we are using expired vaccines in our facilities and if they don’t come, Covid-19 will hit them hard.

More than 330 000 Malawians have been vaccinated out of a population of 18.63 million.

According to Worldometer, as of 19 May 2021, 11:26 GMT, Malawi had recorded 34 231 coronavirus cases, 1 153 deaths and 32 246 recoveries.

More: BBC News

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