The AstraZeneca vaccines were among 2.2 million doses supplied to the country through the global Covax program in January, with a 28-day expiration date.
The Minister stated that there had been two big campaigns to utilise them in a timely manner, and that immunisation rates had increased, but that a preliminary survey revealed that they had not all been used.
“Any expired dose represents a missed opportunity to save a life,” Kagwe said.
In the future, the country will only accept vaccine donations with a four-month shelf life, he said.
Complacency and reluctance, particularly in relation to AstraZeneca, were other issues that needed to be addressed, according to the minister.
He added: “We continue to witness vaccine hesitancy attributed to rumours and misinformation particularly around fertility concerns. These rumours do not have any scientific evidence and are therefore baseless and must be ignored.”
Second-dose take-up was also on the decline, with only 30% of those eligible coming forward, he cautioned.
In the East African country, which has a population of 48.5 million people, about eight million adults are fully vaccinated.
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