Coronavirus (Covid-19)IndonesiaSoutheast Asia

More than a million Covid-19 vaccinations ‘expire’ in Indonesia before distribution to public

Indonesia had a Covid kerfuffle today after more than a million Covid-19 vaccination shots expired before they could be used, most of which were donated just one to three months, due to their short shelf life.

According to Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, nearly 98% of the 1.1 million dosages were thrown out as a result of rushed shipments by developed countries that purchased more vaccines than they could administer, and donated them to locations where they could be distributed rapidly, such as Indonesia, last year.

The government said it would be more selective in the future and only accept doses that have a three-month, or longer, expiration date.

“We will still try to accept these shots considering they’re free and those are good vaccines that we can give to our people.”

Vaccines, like other pharmaceutical medicines, have an expiration date and shelf life set by the producer and approved by regulatory agencies. According to the World Health Organisation, the ingredients of vaccination might deteriorate and lose potency over time, and the ability to preserve its effects within prescribed limitations throughout its shelf life.

Indonesia needs roughly 100 million additional vaccine doses for its current booster plans, with the majority coming from the international Covax initiative and the remainder coming through bilateral agreements with other countries.

Other countries, such as Nigeria and Uganda, have been forced to discard expired doses, providing another hurdle to Covax’s efforts to supply vaccinations to developing countries.

The world’s fourth-most populated country has given out over 300 million vaccinations so far, with 44% of its 270 million people receiving full doses.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post