Covid: Persons urged to get vaccinated before vaccines expire


Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony is urging citizens to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus before the current batch of vaccines expire, noting that many have a short timeline until expiry.

While he explained that the Sinopharm vaccines currently in stock expire until 2023, the others are due to expire much sooner.

“Many of the other vaccines have relatively short dates so that’s something that we have to be constantly vigilant of to make sure that we’re minimising loss due to expiry,” he contended.

The Health Minister, however, did not disclose the expiry dates of the other vaccines during his Covid-19 update today.

He, assured however, that if the vaccines expire and have to be thrown out, the country has arrangements in place to secure more jabs.

Additionally, he assured that there is adequate vaccine storage centrally and regionally.

“We have adequate Covid-19 vaccines. We have adequate storage. You would recall that when we were preparing for these vaccines, we spent a lot money to develop storage capacity for these vaccines. The vaccines, they vary in the temperature you ought to keep them, so some them require refrigerate at -70°C. At the time when we were looking for the vaccines, we did not have that capacity, but we built that capacity,” the Health Minister explained.

“We had experts that came in from the PAHO/WHO to work with us and make sure our cold chain is adequate. So, we have a very intensive network of vaccine storage in every region and then when we’re taking vaccines out to specific areas…we have special types of equipment to be used including iceboxes…When it’s necessary, we’ve also been able to work with the local companies that manufacture dry ice so we can keep the vaccines at the right temperature,” he added.

To date, 439,306 persons or 85.6% of the adult population have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine while 338,438 or 66% are inoculated with two doses.

For the 12 to 17 age group, 34,435 or 47.2% received a first jab while 25,194 or 34.5% received two doses.

A total 61,042 booster doses have been administered.