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Czech Republic may have to destroy 45,000 doses of AstraZeneca as demand for jab bites

Prague may have to get rid of thousands of doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine when they expire next month. Demand for the jab recommended only for people over 60 years of age due to possible side effects remains low.

Some 55,000 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca and shipped to the Czech Republic are expected to expire by the end of October, Czech radio station IROZHLAS reported. While approximately 10,000 of these are expected to be used to deliver second doses, the remaining lots may have to be incinerated if demand for the vaccine fails to increase.

So far he has hit rock bottom. According to data cited in the report, only 36 people have chosen AstraZeneca for their first dose in September, and a total of 774 people have been vaccinated so far.

Between July and August, only about 1,200 people newly vaccinated switched to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, a tiny fraction of the roughly 860,000 people who requested their first dose during that time.

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Some 14,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine were thrown away in the past month alone due to lack of public interest, Czech media reported.

The apparent lack of popularity has been attributed to the Czech Health Ministry’s recommendation of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccines only to people over 60 since June. The precaution was introduced after the vaccines were suspected of causing life-threatening blood clots that were detected in some younger people after receiving the vaccine. Although cases are reported to be rare, several countries, including the Czech Republic, have limited or discontinued use of the vaccine.

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Czech Health Ministry spokesman Daniel Köppl admitted that the government expects all remaining doses not to be able to be used before the time runs out. And while Prague has already donated over 200,000 doses, including AstraZeneca, to other countries, this time the lots cannot be collected due to legal hurdles, he said. at the store this weekend.

The problem is that unused doses have already been delivered and distributed across the country. “The law does not allow us to donate these vaccines because as soon as they are taken out of the controlled distribution chain, they are supposed to be used. They cannot be transmitted ”, said Köppl.

So far, around 55% of the eligible Chezh population has been fully vaccinated, while authorities have set a vaccination rate of 75% as a goal.

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rt Gt