240 million doses of expired vaccines were wasted worldwide

It is a scandal revealed by the international journalistic project “#followthedoses” in which the newspaper participates The world† As the name suggests in English, it is a matter of tracking, “tracing” the doses of vaccine against Covid-19. However, it turns out that over 240 million of them are now unusable because they are obsolete.

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With a shelf life of six months, Pfizer’s vaccine was the most wasted vaccine in the world, according to this study. However, in France, the general direction of health assures, there are only doses of AstraZenecathe Swedish-British laboratory, that went to the trash in France. It still looks like 218,000 doses, at 2 euros each, of this vaccine for a controversial time after thrombosis cases.

Globally, it is staggering, with an estimated number of at least 240 million doses wasted. And this is only a low estimate: these figures only concern rich countries, according to figures from our colleagues at the Worldciting London-based health data analytics company Airfinity.

There is little information about poor countries, which have built up their vaccine stocks mainly with donations from the north, which is exactly what this study shows, which sent doses that were about to expire. Thus, the beneficiaries of the international Covax program have refused 100 million just in the month of December 2021. Others have nevertheless reached the limit of the use date, such as in Africa, and especially in Nigeria, only to end up underground with a bulldozer. In France, this type of waste is incinerated.

On franceinfo, Pauline Londeix, of the Observatory for Transparency in Drug Policy, thus denounced that “One third of the world’s population has not received a single dose of vaccine. When you see the waste figures, you can only be shocked. But unfortunately we should have expected it because the rich countries wanted to monopolize the doses of vaccine, were afraid to run out, wanted to vaccinate the population quickly… They bought the doses and that led to this mess. I believe there has been a recurring problem since the start of the Covid crisis, it’s the issue of inventory management, which is quite a catastrophic constantshe clarified, before estimating that “the Covax device is malfunctioning

In an “urgent” press release from the Ministry of Health, dated January 2022so can we read the recommendations of “carefully refer to the expiration date labels and administration times on the vial before each injection“, specifying that “following a change to the marketing authorization”, the “shelf life of the vials” could see an extension of their expiration date from three months, up to a maximum of nine months.