As concerns about uptake and distribution remain, Switzerland is among the first countries planning to destroy hundreds of thousands of expired and unused doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
The European country said it plans to destroy more than 600,000 doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine Spikevax as the doses reached their expiration date.
However, Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that he was about to throw 30 million cans in the bin and exclaimed, “We have a big demand problem.”
Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna:
“It’s sad to say I’m about to throw 30 million cans in the bin because no one wants them. We have a huge demand problem.”
Notes that China doesn’t want MRNA products and that there are 7 billion doses. https://t.co/xfKZbVT8RJ pic.twitter.com/WVboChDma7
— Efron Monsanto 🇨🇦🚜🚛 (@realmonsanto) May 23, 2022
According to the Swiss news site SwissInfo, The cost of destroying the vaccines is one Swiss franc or $1.05 per kilogram. An estimated 7 million doses of Covid vaccine remain in the country, but the number of vaccinations has fallen sharply in recent months. SwissInfo found around 1200 doses were being administered per day in May, with the Swiss government having bought 34 million doses for 2022.
In February, the government said 15 million vaccine doses could be transferred to the COVAX program, which aims to ensure fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide and distribute vaccines to developing countries. However, negotiations are said to be ongoing.
Switzerland is not the only European country preparing to destroy vaccines. Earlier this month, health authorities in Denmark announced Al Jazeera, said 1.1 million surplus Covid-19 vaccines had to be disposed of due to expiration dates and efforts to donate them to other countries had failed.
According to a report by BBCAround 4.7 million doses of Covid vaccine ended up being wasted, including doses that had to be destroyed pending the expiry date in England by the end of October 2021, with the AstraZeneca vaccine accounting for around 1.9 million of the vaccines disposed of.
In the US, as previously reported, a report was revealed that Emergent had to destroy over 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine after failing to meet quality standards.