Switzerland to destroy over 600,000 expired doses of Moderna Covid vaccine
As concerns related to uptake and distribution continue to linger, Switzerland is among the first countries that plans to destroy hundreds of thousands of expired and unused Covid-19 vaccine doses.
The European country said it plans to destroy more than 600,000 doses of Moderna’s Spikevax Covid-19 vaccine as the doses have reached their expiration date.
However, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that he’s in the process of throwing 30 million doses in the garbage, exclaiming, “We have a big demand problem.”
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna:
"it's sad to say, I'm in the process of throwing 30 million doses in the garbage because nobody wants them. We have a big demand problem."
— Efron Monsanto 🇨🇦🚜🚛 (@realmonsanto) May 23, 2022
According to Swiss news site SwissInfo, the cost of destroying the vaccines will be one franc, or $1.05, per kilogram. An estimated 7 million Covid vaccine doses are remaining in the country, but the number of vaccinations has fallen sharply in recent months. SwissInfo noted that in May, around 1,200 doses were being administered a day, with the Swiss government having bought 34 million doses for 2022.
In February, the government said that 15 million vaccine doses could be transferred to the COVAX program which seeks to ensure fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide and distributes vaccines to developing countries, however, negotiations on this are said to be ongoing.
Switzerland is not the only European country prepping for vaccine destruction. Earlier this month, health officials in Denmark, according to Al Jazeera, said that 1.1 million excess Covid-19 vaccines had to be discarded due to the expiration date and efforts to donate them to other countries failed.
According to a report from the BBC, around 4.7 million Covid vaccine doses ended up as wastage, including doses that had to be destroyed to the expiration date hitting, in England by the end of October 2021, with the AstraZeneca vaccine making up around 1.9 million of those dumped.
In the US, as previously reported, a report revealed that Emergent had to destroy over 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines after failures to meet quality standards.