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Expiration of vaccines: 'Limited' time to undertake vaccination exercise to blame - Health Service

Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye is the DG of the Ghana Health Service

Mon, 19 Apr 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has explained that only a small number of the coronavirus doses in the country were discarded, adding that they had to do so because they expired.

Also, he explained, the limited time for it to inoculate the populace before the expiry dates made it difficult for it to exhaust all the doses available to it, reports Citi News.

Earlier, it had been reported that some of the Coronavirus vaccines had gone waste in the Northern Region, while there remains quite a number of people who are yet to be vaccinated.

In his response to the news, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said that while it is unfortunate that some of the doses had been wasted due to the limited time available, the health staff still discharged themselves creditably in the process of the vaccination.

“The truth of the matter is that, with the last batch of vaccines that were received, the expiry date was the 13th of April. All regions were able to use it except for the 480 doses that could not be used in the Northern Region and the 100 doses in the Oti Region. So, if you look at the wastage, the numbers are not so much. If you look at the time frame that we had, it affected the EPI program, although the health personnel tried with the vaccination,” he said.

Some of 480 vials containing the coronavirus vaccines were reported to have gone bad due to the limited timeframe as at the close of the first phase of the vaccination exercise.

This decision to end the exercise, according to the Northern Regional Health Directorate, was on precautionary measures taken on the advice of the Food and Drugs Authority.

This was also because the current AstraZeneca vaccines available in the region expired on Friday, April 16, 2021.

“This batch of vaccines was manufactured on 16 October 2020 and FDA approves that we can use it within six months. So effectively, the sixth month will be the 16th [of April], so for safety reasons, FDA anticipated that we shouldn’t vaccinate to the very last day. So we had three clear days to the six months date,” Hilarious Abiwu, the Director in charge of Public Health, explained.

He added that the AstraZeneca vaccines which were produced on October 16, 2020, were expected to be used within six months, after which they are likely to lose their potency.

Vaccination in the Northern region for the novel coronavirus started on March 26, 2021, with some 17,000 doses targeted at health workers, and was expected to end in five days although it was extended due to some technical challenges.

A low turnout of health workers also contributed to the extension of the days for the vaccination in the region.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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