According to a new analysis by the Telegraph, a UK newspaper, up to 800,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in the UK will likely be discarded due to expiration dates in early September.
It is speculated that the UK government's recommendation for younger people get an alternative jab led to the considerable number of unused doses. The recommendation was made due to the potential risk of blood clots linked with taking the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Telegraph reported earlier that UK medics and General Practitioners (GPs) in particular have continued to raise concerns about leftover doses for months and were frustrated with distribution efforts given the limited nature of global vaccine delivery.
The paper's analysis is based on the Welsh government’s recently released figures, which show that 40,000 doses expired and were "not suitable for use" as of September 5, 2021. If the wastage rate is approximately the same across England (England does not make this data publicly available), Scotland, and Northern Ireland – 1.7% - more than 800,000 doses could be wasted across the UK.
The UK government additionally announced on September 13, 2021 that it would make vaccines available to children aged 12 - 15. Prior to the announcement, vaccines were only available to children in this age group with health problems due to potential risks. However, the government’s chief medical officers have reconsidered the impact of vaccination on children's well-being and reversed their decision, now allowing vaccinations for the entire age group.
News article – The Telegraph