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We won’t go for COVID vaccines near expiry anymore – Amponsa-Achiano

Programmes Manager for the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI) Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano has cleared the air on the new research by the African CDC which has warned African countries to be wary of expired COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr Amponsa-Achiano insists his outfit was aware that the vaccines were near their expiry date.

He said this in an interview with Alfred Ocansey on 3FM on Friday, April 23.

When asked about the question of what his outfit is doing about the new development about the Covid-19 vaccines, Dr. Amponsa-Achiano answered: “I will tell you how efficient our system has been, you remember this thing nearly became a topical issue some couple of weeks back? When it was put out that thousands of doses in Ghana were expired and I got the opportunity on some sister stations to debunk those unfortunate assertions, we have an efficient system”.

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“I believe that Ghana probably was one of the countries that had one of the highest doses from those stocks, it’s the same stock that was given to us generously by MTN, very close to expiry, we received ours on the 30th of March, FDA had to do a couple of tests on them. So within 2 days, they had released so we started vaccinating on 1st April and within 7 days or so, and having at the back of our minds that we had nearly expired drugs on our hands and we efficiently delivered. And we had a few doses, a few vials that got expired and we took them out of our cold kit.

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“We as a country took a decision not to go beyond that so some countries are reporting 16,000, others 56-57,000 and so on. We had just a few, I think 58 vials which translate into 580 and even for this the country was chastising us unfortunately.

“And so just to buttress the point that we were able to deliver those vaccines within that short time, we don’t hope to receive vaccines that are close to expiry anymore. But, of course, if push comes to shove and we have to use them because of scarcity, we’ll try as much as possible to do that, so I have that information, we got that information even earlier before the CDC came out, by that time the country had already taken the decision that we were not going to go beyond that, that’s the story,” he pointed out.

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Reacting to the news of an earlier report on April 13, that about 450 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, representing about 1.7% that have gone to waste in the Northern Region, Dr. Achiano corroborated the news.

“Yes, Yes, that’s correct, and so you can compare ours, 480 plus 10 in Oti, that’s 580 doses, we are not saying everything was well but if you compare 580 plus 70,000 doses, you can tell that there is a difference.”

He assured the public that in May the country shall receive the second batch of Covid-19 vaccines and so his outfit will continue to be transparent with the public as they have been doing.

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