Nigeria reports spike in COVID-19 cases as donated vaccines expire

2021-12-18 16:36:30
Nigeria reports spike in COVID-19 cases as donated vaccines expire

Nigeria has reported a spike in COVID-19 infections as the country’s commercial capital, Lagos leads in new cases.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said on Saturday that out of the 1,584 new infections recorded on Friday, Lagos State, the nation’s epicenter recorded 906 cases.

This shows an increase of 307 infections when compared with the 599 cases the state recorded on Thursday. NCDC stated also that Friday’s 1,584 infections brought Nigeria’s tally to 222,655, with 211,373 persons treated and discharged.

Friday’s figure indicated an increase of 533 over Thursday’s 1,051 cases.

NCDC stated that it also recorded a COVID-19 death on Friday raising Nigeria’s mortality figure to the infection to 2,984.

It added that Nigeria had conducted 3,686,403 tests since the virus was announced on February 27, 2020.

Rules that require people to confirm their COVID-19 status before attending large gatherings in Lagos are being largely ignored, reflecting a general indifference towards the pandemic, despite a recent surge in cases.

Nigeria has only been able to fully vaccinate fewer than than 4% of adults in Africa's most populous nation of over 206 million people.

Meanwhile, Nigeria says it will no longer accept COVID-19 vaccines with short shelf lives after 1 million doses have expired in Africa's most population nation before the shots could be used, a government official said.

While some of the doses given to Nigeria were within a few months of expiring, authorities have said that other donated vaccines had just weeks left to be given to people before becoming unusable.

Faisal Shuaib, head of Nigeria's National Primary Health Care Development Agency, told reporters that expired vaccines not used in time now will be destroyed. He did not specify what Nigerian officials would consider to be too short of a shelf life.

According to reports, as many as 1 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine reportedly expired before they could be used in Nigeria. The doses were sent from Europe through Covax, a program to distribute covid-19 vaccines donated by rich countries to poor ones.

Vaccine waste routinely occurs in large immunization campaigns, and rich countries such as the US, UK, and Canada have been especially cavalier in letting millions of doses expire and destroying them, even as the rest of the world was short on supplies.

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