Indonesia urges rich countries not to donate ‘critical vaccines’ after more than 19 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine were scrapped

2022-06-19 0 By

Beijing, March 31 (Xinhua) –More than 19 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have had to be scrapped this year because they exceeded their sell-by date, and about 1.5 million doses are due to expire in April, Indonesian health ministry officials said on Tuesday.Most of these vaccines are temporary vaccines donated from developed countries such as the United States and Australia, often leaving donor countries too late to distribute them to their populations.Several developing countries, including Indonesia, are speeding up their COVID-19 vaccination programmes, with large amounts of vaccine coming from programmes and donations from other countries, which have repeatedly called on donors not to provide imminent vaccines.On March 29, people lined up for a medical check-up to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus in South Tangerang, Indonesia.In Indonesia, 19.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were scrapped from January to March this year due to expiration, 97 percent of which came from donations, Lucia Rizka Andalucia, a senior health ministry official, said at a parliamentary hearing on Monday.Ritzka said the vast majority of the scrapped vaccines were British Astrazeneca vaccines, but there were also U.S. Modena vaccines.She said the Indonesian government would try to prioritize the use of remaining vaccines with a short shelf life to avoid waste.Indonesia will no longer accept COVID-19 vaccine donations in the near future and will tell donors that donated vaccines should have at least two-thirds shelf life, FOREIGN Ministry official I. Gede Ngura Swajaya said at the same hearing.Astrazeneca’s CORONAVIRUS vaccine in the UK has a relatively short shelf life of just six months.This means that by the time Indonesia hopes to receive the astrazeneca vaccines from donors, they should have at least four months left to use.On 22 December 2021, Nigerian health authorities centrally destroyed more than 1 million doses of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by European countries that had passed their sell-by date on the outskirts of Abuja.Xinhua News Agency (Photo by Peter Oba) Some media have reported that developed countries provide developing countries with vaccines that are no longer needed, pointing out that these developing countries face great time pressure in storage, distribution and vaccination, which is easy to waste.Some developing countries in December rejected more than 100 million doses of vaccine offered by the U.N.-led COVID-19 vaccine implementation program, citing concerns that vaccines would be too late to be administered, UNICEF officials said.In response to inquiries, Astrazeneca said in an email that it no longer manages COVID-19 vaccines once they are sold, and that the international vaccine donation program involves “complex administrative and logistical steps.”Astrazeneca also said it is collecting and analyzing data from all manufacturing processes in order to extend the life span of COVID-19 vaccines.(Yang Shuyi) Source: Xinhua News Agency