Health authorities in France are set to get rid of 30 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer Covid vaccines that have not expired and could still be used according to the countrys General Directorate of Health.
But despite the reported increase in covid cases, the amount of people coming for the injections has been rapidly decreasing.
MSN reports: These figures are largely insufficient to use up the colossal stocks still available. As a ne rapidly booster vaccination campaign begins in early October, it is not these 30 million doses that will be directly concerned.
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According to the recommendations of the French National Authority for Health (HAS), it is vaccines adapted to the new variants that, once delivered to France, will be used in priority for the most vulnerable people, and not the Pfizer and Moderna doses.
“In the short term, the traditional vaccines will remain injected until the new bivalent vaccines arrive. In addition, these bivalent vaccines have only been approved for use in booster shots. The stock of conventional vaccines will therefore allow access to primary vaccination to be maintained,” the Directorate General of Health told L’Express.
Consequently, the 30 million doses concerned should be thrown away in large numbers. To clear the stock, it would be necessary above all for the French to massively want a fourth injection.
For the moment, the Chambre syndicale de la répartition pharmaceutique estimates weekly deliveries to pharmacies at 150,000 doses of first-generation vaccine. Even if this level were to increase, it would not be enough to sell the 30 million pending injections.
To limit waste as much as possible, France could therefore deliver these doses to countries with low vaccination coverage. “It could be interesting, as the government has already done on several occasions, for large volumes, to send donations of vaccines to certain countries,” stresses David Lepoittevin, Pfizer France’s Director of Vaccines. But the clock is ticking and these doses could reach their expiry date.
Reacting to the news, Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot blasted: “Covid-19: France will surely have to destroy 30 million doses of vaccine! Nobody wants them anymore! 600 million euros (£522M) thrown away! We could have built several hospitals with this!”
It comes as Switzerland was also forced to destroy 10.3 million doses of Moderna vaccines, which reached their expiration date last week.