Belgium will be forced to dispose of 1.3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by July, as per the reports.
With reference to information from the Federal Vaccination Taskforce, the majority of 436,800 first doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are set to expire at the end of May, as well as an additional 880,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna will no longer be usable in July.
In the month of April, the government of Belgium destroyed about €98.5 million of face masks, testing materials, and medicines related to the coronavirus because they were past their expiry date or were damaged.
Along with this, Belgium was suspected of attempting to dump the majority of its recently expiring Covid strategic stockpile on Ukraine in a scandal on May 18. Around 280,000 drugs and 140,000 syringes were delivered, all of which would have expired soon after receipt. Later, these were taken out of shipments.
Belgium is not the first country to start reducing vaccine and personal protective equipment inventories.
According to the People’s Vaccine Alliance, the EU threw away more than 55 million vaccine doses by the end of February and gave another 25 million to Africa (PVA). Last month, France tossed away 3.6 million vaccination shots.
European strategy has traditionally been to buy superfluous vaccinations to maintain supply diversification. However, as the worldwide epidemic faded and global vaccination programs halted, the Belgian government began assembling a stockpile of up to 9 million doses.
Because the worldwide vaccine distribution program Covax currently has more doses than needed to fulfil global demand, Belgium cannot readily contribute these doses to other countries, as the EU has done with Africa.
Furthermore, it will be required to continue to dispose of this stockpile unless a new vaccination campaign or a new variation of concern arises somewhere in Europe.