Nearly 840,000 Covid-19 vaccines have expired in Kenya

Nearly 840,000 vaccines against Covid-19, received by Kenya via donations, have expired, the Ministry of Health announced Wednesday, deploring a persistent distrust in vaccination as well as the short life of the doses.
These are AstraZeneca vaccines received through the Covax global initiative, the ministry said in a statement. “Every expired dose represents a missed opportunity to save a life,” it added.
About 30% of the targeted population in Kenya has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, but vaccination has slowed considerably in recent weeks, which have seen the prevalence of the disease decline.
At the beginning of February, some 252,000 anti-Covid doses were being injected daily across the country, but this figure has dropped to 30,000. Among other things, the ministry says second-dose administration has dropped significantly and that some Kenyans are refusing certain vaccines – mainly AstraZeneca.
“We continue to observe a reluctance to be vaccinated attributed to rumors and misinformation, especially around fertility fears,” the ministry writes.
It also notes that the affected vaccines were delivered in January with an expiration date of February 28. “From now on, Kenya will only accept donations of vaccines with a shelf life of at least four months at the time of delivery,” the text continues.
Kenya has received a total of more than 27 million vaccines against Covid-19 but has only administered about 17.3 million.
The ministry reiterates that it has plenty of vaccines in stock and calls on Kenyans to get vaccinated to avoid further losses. The government aims to double the number of Kenyans vaccinated to 27 million by the end of the year from the current 8 million.
About 5,650 people have died of coronavirus in Kenya since the first case was detected in March 2020, according to official figures.