With No Takers for 13.6M Doses, in the Trash They Go

Canada to dump expired AstraZeneca vaccines after they weren't accepted at home or abroad
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 6, 2022 2:40 PM CDT
13.6M COVID Vaccine Doses Headed for Trash
Anita Anand, Canada's Minister of Public Services and Procurement, poses on March 3, 2021, at a facility in Milton, Ontario, with some of the first AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India.   (Carlos Osorio/Pool Photo via AP)

Canada is going to throw out about 13.6 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine because it couldn't find any takers for them either at home or abroad, per the AP. Canada signed a contract with AstraZeneca in 2020 to get 20 million doses of its vaccine, and 2.3 million Canadians received at least one dose of it, mostly between March 2021 and June 2021. Following concerns in the spring of 2021 about rare but potentially fatal blood clots from AstraZeneca, Canada focused on using its ample supplies of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

In July 2021, Canada promised to donate the rest of its procured supply, about 17.7 million doses. But in a statement Tuesday, Health Canada said that despite efforts to meet that pledge, 13.6 million doses have expired and will have to be thrown out. "Due to limited demand for the vaccine and recipient country challenges with distribution and absorption, they were not accepted." In all, Canada donated 8.9 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine—4.8 million doses from its main supply and 4.1 million doses that it bought from the COVAX vaccine-sharing program. About 85% of Canadians are considered fully vaccinated, compared with 61% of the world's population and just 16% of people living in the poorest countries.

(Read more Canada stories.)

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