Denmark to destroy 1.1 million Covid-19 vaccines as expiry date nears

More than 80% of people in country have received two doses

Denmark will destroy 1.1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses after efforts to donate them to developing countries failed. Reuters

More than a million Covid-19 vaccine doses will be destroyed in Denmark after efforts to donate them to developing countries failed.

Health officials in the Scandinavian country said 1.1 million vaccines will be discarded in the coming weeks because their expiry date is approaching.

Statens Serum Institut, a government agency that maps the spread of the coronavirus in Denmark, described the pandemic in the country of 5.8 million people as “currently under control” and said vaccine uptake had been high.

About eight in 10 Danes have received two doses of a Covid vaccine, while more than six in 10 have been given a booster shot.

Denmark, like many other countries, was left with a surplus of vaccines and tried to donate them to nations that did not have enough to inoculate their populations.

“Now there are global challenges with the donation of Covid-19 vaccines, (among others) because for the first time during the pandemic, a situation has arisen where the supply of vaccines exceeds the demand,” the agency said. “This also applies to Denmark.”

The agency said Denmark had donated 9 million doses of vaccines and had been collaborating with other EU member states to find countries that would accept surplus vaccines.

“However, in light of declining demand and lack of roll-out 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,” it said.

Last week Denmark became the first of the EU's 27 members to suspend its vaccination campaign.

Authorities said it expects to reopen the programme in the autumn following a “thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines".

Updated: May 02, 2022, 3:26 PM