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We expect more Covid-19 vaccines to expire, warns NMS

By Davis Mugabi

The General Manager of the National Medical Stores (NMS), Moses Kamabare, has warned that more COVID-19 vaccines will expire from the agency’s stores, due to low ordering and uptake. This concerning revelation has ignited a sense of urgency among MPs and calls for immediate action to prevent the wastage of the vaccine doses.

The NMS, responsible for the procurement and distribution of medicines, including vaccines, across the country, has been actively involved in the nationwide distribution of vaccines since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. However, the General Manager’s remarks shed light on the challenges posed by low uptake, which would lead to the expiration of more Covid-vaccines, if not urgently addressed.

“A few years back, COVID was a big issue. However, the demand for COVID-Vaccines is now at zero. We no longer receive any COVID-vaccine-Orders. If we don’t have any people that need or health facilities requisitioning for these Covid vaccines, we expect more Covid vaccines to expire on us.” 

Kamabare made the remarks while appearing before the Health Committee of Parliament earlier on Thursday.

The low uptake is a result of vaccine hesitancy and a lack of demand in all Districts. This poses a significant threat to the overall success of the vaccination campaign, as additional unused doses will go to waste.

Despite, an extensive public awareness campaign, launched by the Ministry of Health upon the request of the President, to educate the public about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, there is a general sense that Covid-19 is behind us, which could explain the low demand.

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