Czech healthcare workers have thrown away more than 14,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the past month as interest in the vaccine has continued to dwindle.
AstraZeneca was distributed to general practitioners but patients are not interested in getting a vaccination with the UK-Swedish jab and prefer to get jabs from Pfizer or Moderna instead.
“There was simply no interest in the AstraZeneca vaccine. We were told to keep these vaccines and see what to do next according to the situation,” the regional vaccination coordinator Robin Šín told the Czech radio station Radiožurnál.
In June, the country’s health ministry recommended that the AstraZeneca jab should be administered only to people above 65 – a decision, which according to doctors, discouraged people from getting the AstraZeneca jab.
The alternatives from Pfizer and Moderna – which are currently highly accessible – are in any case more popular among the public.
To ensure vaccines do not expire, a special database called “Save the vaccine” has been launched. It allows general practitioners to make known which vaccines are available and which are about to expire.
The Czech government has already confirmed that it will donate all doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered during the summer. More than 200,000 have already been sent to Asian countries. AstraZeneca vaccines that were already ordered and are expected to arrive in Czechia in next months will be donated as well. (Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)