Danish health officials said Monday that 1.1 million excess COVID-19 vaccines will be discarded in the coming weeks because their expiration date is near, and efforts to donate them to developing countries have failed.
Statens Serum Institut, a government agency that maps the spread of COVID-19 in Denmark, said the epidemic in the Scandinavian country “is currently under control, and the vaccine coverage in the Danish population is high.”
Around 81% of Denmark’s population of 5.8 million has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 62% have received a booster shot.
The agency said that Denmark, like most countries across the world, has a surplus of vaccines.
“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, known in Denmark as SSI, said in a statement. “This also applies to Denmark.”
SSI added that Denmark has donated 9 million doses of vaccines and has been collaborating with other European Union countries to find countries that will receive 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.