Switzerland will destroy 9 million Moderna doses. COVID-19 vaccines have reached their expiry date, with another 5.1 million vaccines due to expire in February, according to the government.
The waste reflects Switzerland’s strategy of ordering more vaccines than it needed to ensure that its 8.7 million-strong population would have adequate supplies even if supply bottlenecks or quality issues arose.
Other countries have also disposed of hundreds of millions of doses of expired vaccines.
“With this deliberately chosen strategy, it was accepted that too much vaccine would be procured and that some of the procured doses would have to be sold, passed on or possibly destroyed,” the cabinet said in a statement.
Switzerland has received 31.9 million vaccine doses from Moderna and other suppliers since the end of 2020, of which 16.1 million have been administered. According to the government, another 3.2 million were transferred to third countries.
In Switzerland and its tiny neighbor Liechtenstein, just under 70% of the population has received at least one vaccination, which is low when compared to vaccination rates in many other Western European countries.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, authorities have reported 4.2 million COVID infections and nearly 13,700 deaths.
(Adapted from Latestly.com)