Kenya’s health ministry plans to redistribute at least 200,000 doses of unused Covid-19 vaccines.

The country’s Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe says the vaccines would be taken to cities or counties where the uptake was high to prevent wastage.

“We cannot afford to have the jabs expire in our stores,” Mr Kagwe said.

Kenya expects to record an average vaccine wastage rate of 10% or less.

Wastage may occur when a closed vial cannot be used due to ineffective temperature control, monitoring and stock management during storage and transportation.

An open vial may also be wasted because of unused doses of multi-dose vials.

In the case of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, one vial can be used to vaccinate at most 10 people.

The World Health Organization says vials should be discarded either six hours later, or at the end of the immunisation session, or else the remaining doses go to waste and have to be destroyed.

More than 916,000 people have been immunised out of the 1.2 million doses received in February.

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