The Confederation will destroy 10 million doses of Moderna vaccine

Switzerland will have to dispose of 10.3 million doses of Moderna vaccine that have reached their shelf life, which cannot be extended. The measure will also free up space for new and improved vaccines, says the Confederation.

The destruction involves 2.5 million doses which are stored at the army’s logistics base. In addition, there are 7.8 million vaccines owned by the Confederation but kept in an outsourced hangar in Belgium, the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) explained on Saturday at the request of the Keystone-ATS agency.

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The storage limit for these approximately 10 million doses of monovalent vaccine produced by Moderna expired on Wednesday, adds the office which confirms information from the Beobachter. No precise data is given concerning the purchase price of these doses. At a rate of 28 francs per injection, according to the weekly, the value of expired vaccines can be estimated at 280 million francs.

Disposal fees are not heavy, however. The FOPH articulates an amount of 1 franc per kilo. The reserves stored in Belgium would represent some 10 tons, ie a cost of 10,000 for their destruction.

A deliberate strategy

The decision to purchase a superfluous number of vaccines, which are to be partly phased out eventually, was consciously taken into account. “Since the start of the pandemic, the Confederation has pursued an acquisition strategy which relies on different vaccine technologies and several producers”, explains the FOPH.

If a technology proves ineffective or if a manufacturer is unable to fulfill the order, the country will always have effective vaccines in sufficient quantities. This strategy of maximum supply led to surpluses because both mRNA vaccines were effective.

Room for new vaccines

This also implies that doses which have not been administered or which have not been able to be delivered to other countries must be disposed of when they expire.

Also read: The FOPH recommends a booster vaccination from mid-October

The OFSP adds that the new Moderna vaccines, adapted to the new variants, are beginning to arrive. “You need space to store them at low temperatures so that they are available in the desired quality until the expiry date.”

By the start of the new recall campaign on October 10, 3.5 million doses of the new Moderna vaccine will be available.

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