The Madrid’s community will have to scrap around 100,000 vaccines against coronavirus that they have not been able to inoculate or donate because their expiration date was “immediate”, according to the Ministry of Health, and because there are no specific agreements to reuse the Jannsen doses.
The Madrid Ministry of Health has confirmed this Wednesday that some 100,000 doses of vaccines had to be discarded, as Chain Ser had advanced, because the population to be vaccinated has been considerably reduced and the rate of inoculation now has nothing to do with that of this summer or the month of September.
90 percent of the withdrawn doses are of Janssen and Astrazeneca, Specifies the Community of Madrid, which regrets that the Ministry rejected that these vaccines were donated.
In addition, the Ministry explains that these vaccines are going to expire because the Ministry of Health “has opted for Pfizer”, referring to the fact that last October 26 the Public Health Commission approved that those vaccinated with Janssen would be administered only second doses of mRNA vaccines, and also not inoculate any first dose of Janssen more, “despite its proven effectiveness,” they lament.
However, Health explains that vaccines can only be transferred to third countries when there are still three months to expire and that the Madrid government gave 28 days notice.
“The Community of Madrid communicated the intention to proceed to the return of doses of Janssen on October 27, 2021 at 11:03,” report sources from the Ministry, who specify that the batches that had the longest expiration were until November 25 .
No agreement with Janssen vaccines
The department that directs Carolina Darias does admit that it is not possible to donate Janssen vaccines to third countries because there is no agreement that makes it possible, and also recognizes that these vaccines have practically ceased to be administered in Spain according to the new vaccination strategies.
“The Ministry of Health, as the supplier of all the covid vaccines received by the autonomous communities, should have also foreseen in its strategy as a donor country the donation of Janssen doses, as it has already done with AstraZeneca, especially when since the Ministry of Health itself is considering only a heterologous vaccination with mRNA vaccines for these situations, “lament sources from the Madrid Ministry.
The Ministry claims that it does not have a record of how many vaccines have expired in Spain because the autonomous communities administer them.
In addition to in the Community of Madrid and Catalonia, where 69,000 doses were discarded in September, also in Aragon some 30,000 vaccines have expired. They have been returned to the central warehouse of the Clinical Hospital, where a waste company is in charge of their management, in the same way as it is done with the rest of expired medicines.
Nevertheless, other communities such as the Basque Country claim that only 36 vaccines have expired of the more than 3.6 million that reached the community until the end of October, which represents only 0.00098% of the total. In La Rioja, 30 doses of AstraZeneca that expired on October 31, 2021 were discarded.
In addition to the Covax system, which, according to the Ministry, only accepts donations when the doses come directly from the manufacturer, the Ministry of Health has launched a system to donate doses received in Spain in which the signing of a tripartite contract between the donor country, recipient country and pharmaceutical company.
The receiving country must organize the transport and be prepared to receive the doses and put them within the expiration period. This means that it is necessary that the doses have a minimum expiration at the time of starting the process. In general, the Ministry explains, countries reject donations that do not expire at least three months.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.