Sweden discards 8.5 mn doses Covid-19 vaccines

Stockholm, Feb 13 (IANS) Sweden has discarded nearly 8.5 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19, local media reported.

The discarded doses equal to about 20 per cent of vaccine doses Sweden has procured, according to Swedish Public Health Agency’s statistics, Radio Sweden reported on Sunday.

Richard Bergstrom, Sweden’s former national vaccine coordinator, told Radio Sweden that the total value of the discarded doses was 1.5 billion Swedish kronor ($143 million), Xinhua news agency reported.

The main reason for doses being discarded was the fact that individuals had not had their booster doses as expected, Bergstrom said.

“The bulk is doses that people have chosen not to take, in other words, the third, fourth, or fifth (booster) dose. These were already purchased and now have to be destructed,” Bergstrom added.

As of Thursday, 88.2 per cent of all individuals aged 18 years or above have received at least one dose, while 86.4 per cent have received two doses or more, Swedish Public Health Agency’s statistics show.

Addressing the global Covid-19 vaccine disparity already in 2021, World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that six times more Covid-19 boosters were administered a day globally than primary doses in low-income countries. Countries with the highest vaccine coverage “continue to stockpile more vaccines,” while “low-income countries continue to wait” for the shots — “a scandal that must stop now”.

–IANS

int/khz/

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