Create a free Industrial Equipment News account to continue

Germany May Junk 3 Million COVID Shots

The country's vaccination program has slowed considerably.

In this file photo dated Saturday, May 15, 2021, empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign at the Vaccine Village in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. Germany's health ministry said Monday that the country may have to discard 3 million doses of expired COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June.
In this file photo dated Saturday, May 15, 2021, empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign at the Vaccine Village in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. Germany's health ministry said Monday that the country may have to discard 3 million doses of expired COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June.
AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FILE

BERLIN (AP) β€” Germany's health ministry said Monday that the country may have to discard 3 million doses of expired COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June.

Ministry spokesman Hanno Kautz told reporters in Berlin that β€œnot many doses” have been destroyed so far, though he couldn't give an exact figure.

But Kautz said that β€œwe have more vaccine available at the moment than is being used and than we can donate.” He added that the U.N.-backed program to distribute shots to poorer countries, COVAX, isn't currently accepting donations.

β€œThere is certainly a danger of vaccine being discarded,” Kautz said. However, he added that it recently emerged that the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine can be stored for longer than previously thought, so German officials now believe that 3 million doses may have to be discarded or destroyed by the end of June β€” down from a previous estimate of 10 million.

Germany's vaccination program has slowed considerably, with an average of only 33,000 shots administered per day over the past week β€” compared with over 1 million at times when the country's booster campaign was in full swing in December.

Some 76% of the population has been fully vaccinated and 59% also have received a booster. Officials aren't satisfied with the vaccination rate, particularly among older people, but the German parliament last week rejected a proposal to require all people 60 and over to get inoculated.

More in Supply Chain