The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has said the agency is working with international partners to ensure Nigeria gets vaccines with long expiration dates.
Adeyeye spoke against the backdrop of the one million doses of vaccines that expired in November and were destroyed by NAFDAC and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 1,066,214 doses of expired AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines were destroyed at the Gosa Dumping site in Abuja.
Adeyeye told NAN, on Wednesday in Lagos, that the expired vaccines had very short expiration dates which made it impossible to be administered in time due to logistics reasons.
She said, “When developed countries started using the vaccine for many months, we didn’t have access to them until we started receiving donations, not just through COVAX alone but from some countries also.
“The expiration date was shorter than what it was supposed to be and between the time we tested and start using it, there was not enough time and that was the only reason not because we were careless.
“But going forward, we are working with international partners to ensure the expiration date of any vaccine we will be receiving are up to five or six months.”
On the new Omnicron variant of COVID-19, the DG said that studies on the variant were still ongoing globally.
She advised Nigerians to continue to adhere to the safety measures given by the various health authorities to further curb the spread of the virus.
“A lot is still not known about Omicron because studies are still going on globally about the variant.
“The only way to keep safe is to continue with the usage of mask, maintain social distancing, wash our hands regularly and avoid crowded areas to stay safe,” she said.