681 million shipped and unused doses of COVID vaccines are stored in about 90 poor countries.
Poor countries last month withdrew more than 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines provided to them through the global COVAX program.
It is reported by Reuters.
It is noted that the main reason for the refusal was the rapid expiration of the drugs. “In December alone, more than a hundred million (doses – Ed.) were rejected,” said UNICEF Supply Chain Director Eva Cadilli.
According to her, poor countries were forced to postpone the supply of vaccines due to lack of storage space, in particular the lack of refrigerators. In addition, many countries face high levels of vaccine distrust and overburdened health systems.
According to UNICEF, 681 million shipped doses are currently stored in about 90 poor countries, more than 30 of which, including large states like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, have used less than half of the vaccines received.
“Countries need delivery support, in particular for healthcare workers, cold chains and educational programs to combat vaccine hesitancy if they want to use all the vaccines they receive,” the charity CARE said.
At the same time, the global alliance for vaccines and immunization, Gavi, explained that the high level of storage of vaccines is associated with an increase in shipments in the last quarter, especially in December. The association reassured that most drugs have a long shelf life.
Earlier, UNICEF Supply Chain Director Eva Cadilli warned that some of the vaccines donated by rich countries had a short shelf life, putting a huge strain on the health systems of poor countries.
More than 85% of the African population has not yet received a single dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the WHO.