UK Wasted Almost 7 Million Covid 19 Vaccines by July 2022


In ‘The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine programme in England’, the UK administration claimed that up to July 2022, just under 7 million Covid 19 vaccinations had been documented as discarded, out of date, or damaged.

It explained that the “NHS England was expecting wastage levels to increase in 2022, in anticipation of a fall in overall demand and resulting difficulties in using up supplies.” And in the end they “had to write off around 1.9 million AstraZeneca doses” during 2021.

“up to July 2022, just under 7 million Covid 19 vaccinations had been documented as discarded, out of date, or damaged“

The recommended given by the document was for the government to “update the committee on levels of wastage across the programme, the number of doses donated internationally, and the number of doses still to be supplied by the end of 2022”.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) reacted to the report by revealing that “as of 30 July 2022, 946,525 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were destroyed or identified for destruction, accounting for 0.46% of the total vaccine volumes delivered and brought under UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) management”.

As far as ownership for the UK immunisation programme, for as long as the vaccine is stored, the UKHSA is responsible; but, after they have left the UKHSA warehouses, NHS England is liable for any wasted product.

“As of 12 July 2022, 5.04 million doses have been recorded as waste by vaccination sites and under 1 million doses reported as waste, expired or damaged by wholesale partners.”

On a positive note, the amount that was disposed of remains to be “significantly lower than the initial planning assumption of 15–20% total wastage”.

Mark Easter from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, expressed his thoughts on the matter: “whilst any waste of a medicines should be avoided, less than 4% demonstrates how well the pharmacy and other teams worked together to keep waste to a minimum.”

The government chimed in that “the UK has offered the 100 million doses it committed to donate in 2021 and by 30 June 2022, the UK had donated over 84.4 million doses.”

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