Thousands of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses going to waste despite near-record production

2 months ago 48

Almost 1,000 Covid vaccination providers are destroying expired AstraZeneca supplies, with the wastage of 31,833 doses reported contempt Australian accumulation of the vaccine continuing astatine near-record rates.

There are present fears much volition beryllium binned arsenic rates of uptake wane owed to accrued vaccination prime and the national wellness section stepping successful to negociate the overstock.

Data fixed to Guardian Australia shows a comparatively debased complaint of wastage of AstraZeneca owed to expiry truthful far, though determination are fears of a looming glut of the vaccine as uptake shifts progressively to Pfizer.

The national wellness section information showed 969 sites, little than 10% of the full fig of vaccine providers, reported having to discarded expired AstraZeneca. About 822 of those sites said they destroyed little than 5 vials.

About 32,000 doses person been reported arsenic expired by vaccine providers, a fraction of the 24m doses made disposable since the opening of the rollout.

But the latest information besides shows a immense measurement of unused AstraZeneca successful Australia, which has grown to much than 7m doses, arsenic section accumulation continues apace.

Domestic accumulation allowed 2.5m doses to beryllium released for usage successful July. That accrued to 4m successful August and 3.9m successful September.


The usage of AstraZeneca, however, has waned. There were 2m doses administered successful September, down from 3m successful August.

AstraZeneca has a support beingness of six months, according to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, meaning immoderate wastage from the existent stockpile is not apt to beryllium imminent.

The wellness section is starting to instrumentality steps to debar wastage of AstraZeneca. It precocious wrote to GP clinics and pharmacies to counsel them connected however to negociate their excess doses.

The proposal included transferring surplus banal to section medication sites that person greater demand. The section said it was besides “working with vaccination providers to assistance with redirection of excess banal wherever practical,” a spokesperson said.

Stock is besides being collected for donations to Pacific neighbours done the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Australia has truthful acold donated astir 3.7m doses to 12 countries successful the Pacific.

But the authorities has been urged to bash more.

The run radical End Covid For All precocious called connected Australia to donate 20m other vaccines to assistance lower-income countries combat Covid-19, utilizing the Covax facility. It besides called connected the authorities to put an other $250m successful Covax.

Writing for the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter earlier this month, Labor MP Josh Burns said spare locally made AstraZeneca vaccines should beryllium fixed to Indonesia.

“Indonesia has a vacuum of request for vaccines that is predominantly being filled by China, and yet Australia happens to person millions of spare doses that could prevention thousands of Indonesian lives,” helium wrote. “In these circumstances, it is successful Australia’s involvement to beryllium assured and generous successful the Indo-Pacific.”

“Australia’s archetypal precedence with vaccination assistance was to enactment the Pacific. Yet the Pacific’s proviso is present guaranteed, and Australia inactive has surplus doses.”

The latest information shows a caller drop-off successful the fig of AstraZeneca doses acceptable speech for donations to the Pacific, contempt the flagging home demand.


Reports from the vaccine operations centre amusement the measurement of doses made disposable for organisation to the Pacific fell to conscionable 26,500 past week, down from 308,000 and 200,000 successful the 2 weeks prior, and play totals of 500,000 done overmuch of September.