TOKYO (CNA) – Over 7,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been disposed of in Japan due to mishandling, the Yomiuri newspaper said yesterday, as Japan races to inoculate its people amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
A hospital and a mass vaccination centre each had to dispose of around 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine because they expired at room temperature, while 12 doses went to waste at a ward in Tokyo because of over-dilution, a survey by the daily found.
Omuta National Hospital in the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka apologised in a statement, saying, “We hugely regret having to dispose of the precious vaccine due to our mismanagement, when many local residents are eager to get vaccinated.”
Less than 50 days before the scheduled start of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan has vaccinated about nine per cent of its people with at least one dose, a slow roll-out among advanced economies.
The nation’s capital, Tokyo, set to host the once-delayed Games from July 23, is under a COVID-19 state of emergency along with eight other regions, while the government struggles to bring the fourth wave under control.