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Vaccines wasted as Africa waits

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n3163 (Published 05 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:n3163
  1. Alison Shepherd
  1. The BMJ

A truck dumps expired AstraZeneca covid vaccines at the Gosa dump site in Abuja, Nigeria, on 22 December. On the same day the UK government announced that 30 million of its people had received a booster jab.

Up to a million covid vaccines are estimated to have expired in Nigeria, where less than 4% of adults have been fully vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization. The lack of infrastructure for delivering vaccines—donated through the Covax system—within the shelf life of four to six weeks is one of Africa’s most pressing problems. Across the continent only 102 million people, or 7.5% of its population, are fully vaccinated. In the UK 80% of adults have received at least two doses, while in the US the proportion is 61% and in the EU 69%.

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