South Sudan’s health ministry has rejected the advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) not to destroy the expired Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
The country’s Covid-19 Incident Manager Richard Laku has said the government will not use the 60,000 vaccines and will destroy them.
The WHO has asked governments to wait for its guidance noting that vaccines could be used up to 36 months after manufacture.
Dr Laku said the position of the government is that “these doses of vaccine will not be used, but there is an option to destroy them.”
WHO’s Country Preparedness and International Health Regulation Officer Wamala Joseph Francis said there was a standard practice for the organisation to reach out to manufacturers for guidance.
“When such a situation happens for a precious product like this Covid vaccine, we usually reach out to the manufacturer and share the batches – so that the manufacturer can run additional tests and determine for how long the vaccine will remain stable – so that will determine the period of extending the expiry date,” Dr Francis said.
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