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Zambia destroys 10,000 doses of unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine

Christian Fernsby |
Some 10,000 doses of an unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine have been seized and destroyed in Zambia, authorities said on Wednesday.

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The vaccine, being sold under the brand name Hayat-Vax, was not registered with or authorized by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA).

The doses worth some $150,000 were imported by a Zambian firm Chrismar Earthmoving Equipment and purportedly manufactured by Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries in the UAE, Christabel Iliamupu, spokeswoman for the agency, said in a statement.

“The vaccine is not on the World Health Organization’s list of jabs cleared for emergency use. The importer did not have an import permit or the pharmaceutical license needed to sell, store, or distribute drugs,” she said.

The authority warned that all medicines and related materials intended for use in Zambia must be imported after completion of “the right processes and procedures.”

Zambia, a country of nearly 20 million, has administered just over 585,000 vaccine doses, with around 275,000 people fully vaccinated, according to the latest official data.

The Southern African nation has reported 206,522 infections to date, including a death toll of 3,605.

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