Countries should destroy out-of-date vaccines – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidance saying that expired Covid-19 vaccines should now be destroyed.

This contradicts earlier advice from the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong.

Last month, he urged countries to use out-of-date vaccines saying that they were safe up until 13 July.

A number of African countries have not been able to use up all their supplies and have been waiting fo guidance.

The WHO has said that it regrets having to give this advice but adds that there is just not enough data to know if the expired doses would be safe.

That’s despite the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, saying the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab can be used nine months after its stated expiry date.

But as Covid-19 vaccines have only been in widespread use for a few months it is not surprising that there has been conflicting advice.

South Sudan failed to use more than 50,000 doses before their expiration date in mid-April.

Malawi will destroy its stockpile of nearly 20,000 vials tomorrow.

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