Over one million (1,022,348) doses of COVID-19 vaccines received at the National Cold Room and issued to user facilities had expired at the various Districts and Regions.
Quantities of types of vaccines affected
It comprises Astrazeneca – 624,430, Pfizer – 193,350, Johnson and Johnson 149,795, Moderna – 54,446 and Sputnik-V – 327
The regional breakdown includes Ahafo – 17,040, Bono East – 35,712, Central – 6,948, Eastern – 302,283, Greater Accra – 154,456, North East – 23,012 and Northern – 120,507.
The rest are Oti – 167,096, Savannah – 11,875, Volta – 54,832, Western – 97,266, Western North – 31,321 and Western North – 31,321.
These are contained in the report on the audit of the government of Ghana COVID-19 expenditure for the period march 2020 to June 2022.
The Programme Manager explained that the vaccines were donated vaccines which were delivered to them close to expiry
The Auditor General was worried that the vaccines could accidentally/mistakenly be issued among the wholesome ones for vaccination which could pose public health threat to the country.
As a result, the Auditor General recommended that the Director of Public Health Department should ensure that the vaccines are disposed of safely.
Management responded that as part of public health measures, these vaccines are not kept in the cold room at all so that they are not accidentally issued among safe vaccines.
They are rather kept out of the Cold Room and transported to the Regional Health Directorate for destruction according to standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Management also indicated that as part of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and in accordance with law, management is working with a team composed of Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Health Service, Health Partners including WHO and/or UNICEF, the Environmental Health department of the relevant Local Government, Environmental Protection Agency and other departments to dispose of the expired vaccines.