Following their expiration this week, 10.3 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine will need to be destroyed in Switzerland, the health ministry announced on Saturday (Sep 24).
Following the expiration of the dosages last Wednesday, the ministry claimed it had no alternative but to stop administering the vaccinations.
According to the statement, 2.5 million of the dosages were kept at a Swiss army logistics facility, while 7.8 million were kept at a Belgian external storage facility.
The ministry corroborated an original allegation from the Swiss news outlet Beobachter, which pegged the dosages’ estimated value as about 280 million Swiss francs ($285 million).
The health ministry cited its early procurement approach in the race to create vaccinations to fight the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic, however, it did not immediately reply to a request for comment from AFP.
It ordered doses from several producers to avoid getting dependent on vaccinations that could someday prove ineffective and to cover any potential delivery issues.
Switzerland has a substantial excess of doses due to the success of mRNA-based vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
According to an estimate made in June by the Swissinfo news website, Switzerland had an excess of around 38 million doses of different COVID-19 vaccinations that would expire before the end of the year.
The ministry announced that when Switzerland launches its next booster campaign next month, there will be around 3.5 million doses of the new, modified Moderna vaccine available.
Switzerland has properly immunized over 70% of its 8.7 million residents, even though there have been 13,556 COVID-19-related fatalities there since the epidemic began.