Approximately half a million doses of coronavirus vaccine expired in Moldova

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Approximately 500,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine are expired, the National Public Health Agency (AMDM) said. According to the source, there are still 70,000 doses of COVID vaccine in stock, and due to low demand for immunization, there is no need to receive new batches. According to AMDM, from the start of the immunization campaign to date, nearly 500,000 doses of COVID vaccine have expired in the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian region. More than 211,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine and about 50,000 doses of Sinopharm had expired in late March. Veaceslav Gutu, head of the AMDM Department for Epidemiological Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, noted that expired batches of Pfizer vaccines are not used in any national medical institution. He stated that the institution is awaiting a decision from the World Health Organization regarding the extension. Veaceslav Gutu also said that the expired doses of Sinopharm vaccines were destroyed by order of the Ministry of Health. “Vaccines are first inactivated with a 0.5% chlorine solution, after which they are treated as medical waste in accordance with the procedure for the safe handling of an unusable vaccine, put into effect by Order of the Ministry of Health No. 258 dated March 17, 2022. They are not released into the environment under any circumstances. Each medical institution has concluded agreements with special organizations that collect medical waste. A part of the overdue Pfizer vaccine doses was purchased by the Republic of Moldova, while the rest of the vaccines were sent at the expense of donations,” Veaceslav Gutu said. Approximately 70,000 vaccines are still valid, 26,694 doses of Pfizer shall expire on August 31, and 43,297 doses of Sinovac vaccine shall expire in summer 2024, according to AMDM. So far, more than 2,200,000 doses have been administered in the Republic of Moldova. With demand for COVID-19 vaccine declining both nationally and globally, most countries are facing a large number of vaccines that have expired or will soon expire.