Reuters noted that the wastage reflects the Swiss strategy of ordering more vaccines than it needed to ensure its population of around 8.7 million would get sufficient supplies, even in the event of supply bottlenecks or quality issues.
"With this deliberately chosen strategy, it was accepted that too much vaccine would be procured and that some of the procured doses would have to be sold, passed on or possibly destroyed," the Swiss government said in a statement. (Related: Were the chips clogging the needles? Moderna recalls thousands of COVID vaccine doses in Europe.)
Quoting Swiss authorities, Reuters reported that the landlocked country has obtained 31.9 million vaccine doses from Moderna and other suppliers. Of this total, 16.1 million were used by the country while another 3.2 million were passed on to others.
Just under 70 percent of the Swiss population and neighboring Liechtenstein have been injected with at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose – a rather low rate compared to those in many other countries in Western Europe.
This was not the first time the landlocked European country was forced to destroy doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
Back in September, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced that 10.3 million doses of the mRNA vaccine would be destroyed after they expired. It said that 2.5 million doses were stored at a Swiss Armed Forces logistics base, and 7.8 million doses were kept in an external storage depot in Belgium.
Moreover, the FOPH confirmed an initial report by the Swiss news site Beobachter that the Moderna doses earmarked for destruction were worth about 280 million Swiss francs ($280.56 million).
Switzerland is not the only nation that has destroyed millions of expired COVID-19 vaccine doses.
A July 2022 report by the Gateway Pundit revealed that Canada destroyed 13.6 million expired doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, attributing it to a lack of domestic and international demand. More than half of all the doses went to waste after Ottawa was unable to find any foreign countries willing to accept the vaccines.
A statement by Health Canada, the country's ministry of health, said the AstraZeneca vaccine doses were not accepted "due to limited demand for the vaccine and recipient country challenges with distribution and absorption."
"The expiration of 13.6 million doses follows the expiration of 1.2 million AstraZeneca doses reported in April and May," it noted. "Most of the expired doses never left the manufacturers’ warehouses. An unknown, but smaller number of doses also expired after distribution to provincial governments."
According to the statement, reports of blood clotting linked to the adenoviral vector shot began to emerge in Europe – which coincided with the arrival of four million AstraZeneca vaccine doses in Canada.
"This led Norway and Denmark to pause, and ultimately halt, the vaccine's use. Other countries soon followed, and Canada halted the vaccine's use in under-55 just as it began to arrive in large numbers. Public confidence in the shot collapsed, and its fate in Canada was sealed by the large-scale arrival of Pfizer's vaccine weeks later."
Canadian epidemiologist Dr. Bruce Aylward, an adviser to the World Health Organization, remarked that a glut of doses of an unpopular vaccine in countries without the infrastructure to quickly deliver them was a recipe for mass rejection and expiration.
Watch Steve Bannon expound on Dr. Naomi Wolf's revelation about Moderna destroying 30 million doses of its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.
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