At least 215 million doses of vaccines against covid-19, which EU countries bought at the height of the pandemic, were thrown away and taxpayers paid an estimated four billion euros for them, Politico warns. He adds that this is almost certainly an underestimate.
The first vaccines against the coronavirus were approved almost a year after the pandemic, in December 2020. Since then, the countries of the European Union together have ordered half a billion doses (roughly equivalent to three doses for each EU resident). However, a significant part of them was not used due to the relatively quick retreat of the pandemic.
Calculations based on available data show that EU countries disposed of an average of 0.7 vaccines for each member of their population. At the top of the list is Estonia, which trashed more than one dose per capita, closely followed by Germany, which nominally disposed of the largest volume of unprocessed vaccines.
Politico points out that it was based only on data provided by 19 member countries. The governments of the other eight members, including the Czech Republic, Poland and France, were said to be reluctant to provide information on the extent of their waste.
Therefore, if the average level of waste were projected for the entire EU, including the eight non-cooperating countries, it would correspond to more than 312 million doses of destroyed vaccines. Some of the server data comes from the spring of this year. He therefore points out that the real value may be higher and the data are underestimated. For example, Germany made its data available in June, when it still had 120 million more vaccines in stock.