Swiss to destroy more than 620,000 doses of expired Covid vaccine

A woman gets vaccinated in Bern in December Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Around 620,000 doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine stored in Switzerland have expired. Of these, 200,000 are in cantonal refrigerators and 420,500 are being held by the army.

This content was published on May 27, 2022 - 09:26

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) confirmed a reportExternal link by Swiss public radio, RTS, on Thursday.

The FOPH must agree to the disposal of these batches, said health office spokesman Grégoire Gogniat, explaining that the cost of destroying them would be one franc ($1.05) per kilogram.

It cannot be ruled out that other batches will suffer the same fate. There are said to be around seven million vaccine doses still in the army’s refrigerators, as the number of vaccinations has fallen sharply in recent months. In May, around 1,200 doses were being administered a day.

In addition to the vaccines already delivered, there are potentially also the batches reserved with manufacturers. In total, the government has bought 34 million doses for 2022.

If there is a surplus of vaccine doses, up to 15 million could be transferred to the COVAX programmeExternal link, which seeks to ensure fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide and distributes vaccines to developing countries. Negotiations on this are said to be ongoing.

More than 12,700 people have died in connection with Covid-19 in Switzerland, which has a population of 8.7 million. Around 69% of the population has received two doses of vaccine.

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