35,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are to be destroyed, as these vials will expire on June 30, Dr. Valeriu Gheorghiţă, the coordinator of the national coronavirus vaccination campaign, announced on Thursday.
There are about 35,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that have already been distributed to vaccination centers in the country and have an expiration date of June 30. “The pace of the vaccination campaign has slowed down, and the use of the vaccine doses distributed throughout the country has decreased. The shelf life of the vaccines is six months, thus the unused serums which are about to expire on June 30 will likely be destroyed,” Doctor Gheorghiţă explained.
According to the vaccination campaign coordinator, it is highly unlikely that these doses will be used by the end of the month, and it is also improbable that they can be donated to anyone. “Thus, there will be a destruction mechanism set up for the vaccine vials about to expire. There are many countries at the moment facing this situation,” said Gheorghiţă, as quoted by tion.ro. The doctor noted that producers are currently conducting studies to extend the shelf life of their vaccines.
Due to some post-vaccination issues with thrombosis, the AstraZeneca vaccine has experienced a sharp decline in popularity in European Union countries, where the population has at its disposal three other types of authorized anti-COVID vaccine.
The interest in getting vaccinated in Romania has also decreased drastically, mostly in the past month. Moreover, the vaccination threshold of 5 million people, which the government set for early June, has not yet been reached.
As Gheorghiţă announced on Thursday, 45 vaccination centers stopped their activity, and in 314 centers, the daily program was reduced from 12 hours to 6 or even 4 hours. Currently, 797 vaccination centers are active in Romania, and a total of 2,451 family doctors are participating in the campaign. To this date, nearly 169,000 people have been vaccinated through a doctor’s office. Overall, Bucharest has the highest vaccination rate, where 45 percent of the population has received the jab. The capital is closely followed by Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) with 41.9 percent of its population vaccinated. Eight other counties have over 30 percent vaccinated.
In the near future, the government plans to increase the number of mobile vaccination units, which are sent to rural areas of the country. The goal is to increase the number of vaccinated citizens as much as possible, as the delta variant of the coronavirus appears to be highly contagious, Dr. Gheorghiţă emphasized.
Title image: Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that these tens of thousands of vaccines will be used by the time they expire, which is at the end of June