JOHANNESBURG (Sputnik) - Malawi has used up 99% of all the COVID-19 vaccine doses available in the country after health authorities destroyed almost 20,000 expired AstraZeneca doses, Queen Dube, the chief of health services, told Sputnik on Tuesday.
"We have a few doses remaining at the [vaccination] centers. By the close of business today we should be at 99%, so by the end of the week we should have had used up all the doses", Dube said.
The vaccine shortage currently being experienced by the African nation is a result of destroyed shots which had expired, partly due to the low uptake of the vaccines in the country. Malawi received 102,000 AstraZeneca doses from the African Union on 26 March and burned 19,610 of them in mid-May.
"We have received a notification that more AstraZeneca vaccines will be arriving soon. Numbers have increased slightly over the past week but I can confirm that we are officially not in the third wave, but we are expecting the numbers to increase due to the winter season", Dube added.
Asked whether the country was in talks with other vaccine producers such as Russia and other countries, the health official said that at this stage, she could only disclose the fact that they were working with an advisory body on that.
"We are also engaging with our multilateral and bilateral partners", Dube said.
Malawi has so far registered 34,914 COVID-19 cases, coupled with 1,171 deaths and 32,891 recoveries.