Moderna announced that it has begun clinical trials of a booster dose of vaccine designed specifically to combat the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. (Photo: AFP/Frederic J Brown)
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.
After the doses expired last Wednesday, the ministry claimed it had no choice but to stop administering the shots.
It informed the news organization that 7.8 million of the doses were in a Belgian external storage depot and that 2.5 million were being housed at a Swiss army logistical base.
According to an original report on the Swiss news website Beobachter, the dosages slated for destruction were worth about 280 million Swiss francs ($285 million). The ministry has since validated this assessment.
The health ministry cited its early procurement policy in response to AFP’s request for comment, but did not provide an instant response.
To avoid growing dependent on vaccines that might ultimately prove ineffective and to account for potential delivery issues, it ordered doses from a number of manufacturers.
Since mRNA-based vaccinations from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech proved to be efficacious, Switzerland ended up with a huge oversupply of doses.
According to an estimate made in June by the Swissinfo news site, Switzerland had an excess of about 38 million doses of various COVID vaccines that would expire before the end of the year.
When Switzerland launches its subsequent booster campaign next month, the ministry reported that approximately 3.5 million doses of the new, modified Moderna vaccine will be on hand.
Switzerland, which has recorded 13,556 COVID-19 deaths during the outbreak, has fully immunized approximately 70% of its population.
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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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