Over 40,000 Pfizer vaccine doses to expire in a week

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A sign about Pfizer vaccines at the Ato Boldon vaccination site in Couva. – File photo/Lincoln Holder

A batch of over 40,000 Pfizer vaccines may become pharmaceutical waste if they are not used before their June 30 expiration date.

At the Ministry of Health’s virtual press conference on Wedenesday, the minister, Terrence Deyalsingh said 40,762 doses were left from a donation of 75,000 from the US on March 3.

He warned, “Because we have not even used 50 per cent of it, the chances of us getting the second tranche of 75,000 are going to be close to zero, because the population at this point in time doesn’t seem to have the appetite for vaccines.”

TT’s vaccination rate stood at 50.9 per cent for the past five weeks. It rose to 51 per cent on Tuesday.

Deyalsingh said vaccination is almost at a standstill, as up to Tuesday, figures from all vaccination sites combed showed nurses administered 331 doses on that day.

“That is remarkably low. And that is why we crawled to 51 per cent. I was able to announce 51 per cent this morning, but there is no rejoicing in that, because it took us months to get to 51 per cent. So that is where we are.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram said Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still available.