Opposition rejects use of expired vaccinesMonday, April 12, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — People's National Party (PNP) spokesman on health and wellness, Dr Morais Guy, says the Opposition rejects any attempt by the Government to use expired AstraZeneca vaccines.
Guy is calling on Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton not to pursue any plan to seek authorisation from the World Health Organisation and the manufactures for use after the April 13 expiry date.
Responding to an announcement this morning by Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, that the Ministry of Health was pursuing this plan, Dr Guy is reminding the government that the European Medical Agency in a publication on January 29, 2021, specifically warned against the use of coronavirus vaccines after expiry dates.
He said due to the nature of formulations in drugs, they are not to be used after expiry and this regime is even stricter for vaccines.
Dr Guy said the use of the expired vaccines could expose the Jamaican population to health risks and consequently, the Opposition is not in agreement with this plan. Further, he noted, some vaccine manufacturers were already seeking indemnities from governments for use of the vaccines.
He said there already is vaccine-hesitancy in Jamaica and the Government's handling of this issue will only serve to heighten scepticism.
“Had the government been forthcoming about the expiration date of the recently acquired shipment of vaccine, and alerted the public of the reduced usage window, I am sure people would have cooperated with requests for immediate take-up. Instead, citizens were left to make the discovery on their own, reducing public confidence. As it is now, some may not even want the vaccine,” Dr Guy said.
He said based on the manufacturers labelling, the Opposition had no problem with the vaccines being used until tomorrow, April 13, 2021.
“Anything else will put the population at risk and Jamaica will lose the protection of AstraZeneca.”
He said manufacturers generally do not guarantee the efficacy of drugs used after expired dates.
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