Belgium to destroy $146M worth of COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies

Belgium to destroy $146M worth of COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies

3.5M doses of first virus variant, along with expired test kits and substandard masks, will be destroyed, say reports

By Anadolu staff

BRUSSELS (AA) – The Belgian government announced on Friday that it will dispose of expired vaccines and medical supplies worth €131 million ($146 million) purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Belgian media, the number of vaccines to be destroyed is 3.5 million doses, which is 6.5% of the 54 million doses of vaccines received by the country.

These vaccines are for the first variant of the virus, and they will be destroyed along with numerous test kits that have passed their expiration date and masks that do not meet the required standards.

The total value of the medical supplies and vaccines to be disposed of is €131 million, and the disposal process itself will cost €310,000.

"During an unprecedented and highly uncertain health crisis, it is the duty of a government to do everything in its power to protect the public," said Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke in a statement.

Therefore, she added, during the first wave of the pandemic, the previous government procured a vast amount of medical supplies at a time when such materials were scarce.

"Now that they have expired, we are obliged to dispose of them," she noted.

However, according to Vandenbroucke, large quantities of vaccines are being or will be destroyed in all European countries, with the amount to be destroyed in Belgium being relatively low in comparison to other countries due to high vaccination rates.

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