Switzerland is to destroy more than 10 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, reported RTS.
The 10.3 million doses of vaccine have reached their expiry date, which cannot be extended, said the government. 2.5 million doses are stored in Switzerland with further 7.8 million stored in Belgium, said the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
At an estimated price of CHF 28 per dose the cost of the vaccines comes to around CHF 280 million. However, the cost of disposing of the vaccines is low. The 10 tonnes of vaccine in Belgium will cost around CHF 10,000 to eliminate.
The decision to buy excess vaccine doses was taken consciously, said the government. At the beginning when there was uncertainty around the supply and effectiveness of vaccines the government decided to hedge its bets by buying enough doses of certain vaccines. At a certain point doses were offered to other countries, however the strategy ultimately left the government with a surplus, it said.
Disposing of the expired Moderna doses will free up space for newer vaccines, said FOPH. New Moderna vaccines adapted for new Covid-a9 variants are beginning to arrive. Between now and 10 October 2022, when the new booster roll out begins, 3.5 million doses of the new Moderna vaccine will be available, it said.