The Malawi government will destroy more than 16,000 Covid-19 vaccines that reached their expiry date, the health minister has been quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

The vaccines were among the 102,000 doses sent by the African Union (AU) three weeks ago.

“We have used most of the vaccines sent by the AU. On Tuesday, when they expired, there were only 16,400 left that had not been used, which will now be destroyed and thrown away,” Charles Mwansambo was quoted by AFP as saying.

Malawi has so far received 530,000 doses through the Covax global initiative, the AU and the Indian government.

The health ministry says 300,000 people have so far been vaccinated and hopes to reach 11 million people so as to be “sufficiently protected”, AFP reports.