Danish health officials say that 1.1 million excess COVID-19 vaccines will be discarded in the coming weeks because their expiration date is near, and efforts to donate them to developing countries have failed.
Statens Serum Institut (SSI), a government agency that maps the spread of infectious diseases including COVID-19 in Denmark, said on Monday the epidemic in the Scandinavian country “is currently under control, and the vaccine coverage in the Danish population is high”.
About 81 percent of Denmark’s population of 5.8 million has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 62 percent have received a booster shot.
SSI said that Denmark, like many countries around the world, has a surplus of vaccines.
“Now there are global challenges with the donation of COVID-19 vaccines, [among others] because…a situation has arisen where the supply of vaccines exceeds the demand,” the agency said.
SSI added that Denmark has donated 9 million doses of vaccines and has been collaborating with other European Union countries to find countries that will receive surplus vaccines.
“However, in light of declining demand and lack of rollout capacity and willingness to be vaccinated in developing countries, it has been difficult for Denmark and other EU countries to find recipient countries for the excess doses,” the agency said.