Ministry of Health on Wednesday openly destroyed about 19,610 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine which expired on 13th April, 2021 for the sake of public health.

The third batch to arrive in Malawi was acquired from the African Union and had a shelf life of two weeks only upon arrival, was destroyed at Lilongwe Central Hospital in a pharmaceutical incinerator at 300 degrees Celsius.

Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, who was present during the incineration of the vaccine highlighted that the government decided to fulfill its obligation and promise in public to show transparency and accountability.

“The government is trying to make every development in regards with Covid-19 as transparent as possible because it is a matter of public health and the general public has to be filled in every development and we decided to destroy the expired vaccine despite getting assurance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is safe and we could still use it,” she said.

Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) Executive Director, George Jobe, commended government for listening to everyone who suggested that the vaccine should not be given to people.

The process also involved the signing of Certificate of Destruction which was signed by representatives from various bodies such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, National Audit Office, Malawi Police Service, Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Poisons, Pharmacy and Medicines Board.

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