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4.7M COVID vaccine doses thrown away in England by October 2021

LONDON (Xinhua) – The COVID-19 vaccination programme in England had seen an estimated wastage of around 4.7 million doses, or four per cent of total supply, by the end of October 2021, said a government report released yesterday.

Among the jabs that were thrown away, 1.9 million doses were unused after changes to clinical advice about the AstraZeneca vaccine, said the National Audit Office in the report about the rollout of the programme.

In May 2021, Britain’s vaccine advisory body, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, issued advice to the government that those aged under 40 should preferably not be offered AstraZeneca.

Following this, the vaccination programme faced “a particular challenge” regarding expiring supplies of AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the report.

The four per cent of total supply came lower than the 15 per cent to 20 per cent that the vaccine programme initially assumed, the office said.

By the end of October 2021, 85 per cent of people aged 18 and over in England had received two COVID-19 vaccine doses, and the programme had spent GBP5.6 billion out of GBP8.3 billion of total funding slated for two years which ends in March 2022, said
the report.

A man receives a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Central Mosque of Brent in the Willesden Green district of London. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

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