Thousands of doses of the no longer administered Swedish-British lab vaccine have passed their expiry date.
While Covid-19 cases are rising slightly, the Directorate General of Health (DGS) has confirmed that 218,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccines have been discarded since the start of the vaccine campaign in France. The expiry date, established at six months by the Swedish-British laboratory, had passed.
The latter were withdrawn from the market in July 2021 following several cases of thrombosis. Since then, deliveries of the serum have been non-existent in France. Only the messenger RNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, were part of the recall campaign, launched in early 2022. The Janssen followed the same fate as its cousin Astra Zeneca.
Does the mess stop at the French borders? The international Covax system, responsible for distributing doses to disadvantaged countries, would not be outdone. Indeed, the latter mostly benefit from bottles from the AstraZeneca laboratory, not only cheaper but also discarded by several European countries.
Latest example, at the end of December 2021, Nigeria incinerated more than a million AstraZeneca doses given a few months earlier. “When these vaccines were offered to us, we knew they had a short shelf life, but we lived in an environment where the supply of vaccines was very scarce.“, had then declared the director of the national agency in charge of immunization programs, Dr. Faisal Shuaib.
That’s not all. According to a survey of World, the waste of vaccines would be much greater. More than 240 million doses would have passed their expiry date, only for the rich countries. If nearly 20% of them would be doses of AstraZeneca, the first place would go to Pfizer, the most used vaccine in the West, with 168 million doses thrown away.