Covid Scotland: More than 4,400 vaccine doses wasted in one week

More than 4,400 doses of coronavirus vaccine were wasted in Scotland in one week, figures have revealed.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 3:12 pm

Statistics published by the Scottish Government under Freedom of Information requests showed in the week ending August 1, a total of 4,448 doses of vaccine were not administered.

Between February and July the number totalled 34,026.

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A doctor prepares syringes that contain the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19. Picture: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

The Scottish Government said there were “several reasons a vaccine may not be administered before being discarded, and therefore ‘wasted’”, including issues with storage, expired doses and “specific clinical situations where there may be some dose loss”.

The figures covered all three of the coronavirus vaccines being given in Scotland – Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna – with the total wasted amounting to 0.51 per cent of the 6,643,551 jabs given.

However, the statistics do not include wastage of vaccines in GPs practices, as “GPs do not record this information”.

The figures were released as the Scottish Government continues to urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

From Monday this will include healthy youngsters aged between 12 and 15, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the vaccine programme was being expanded following advice from the UK’s chief medical officers.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Given the scale of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, some vaccine wastage has been unavoidable for a variety of reasons.

“Wastage, as shown by the statistics in today’s Freedom of Information release, has remained well below the 5 per cent planning assumption throughout – and is currently at 0.5 per cent.

“However, we continue to work with health boards to ensure wastage is at a minimum, and maximise the availability of vaccines to the people of Scotland.”

Confirmation of the wastage comes as the number of confirmed or suspected coronavirus deaths has risen by 18 to 76 in the past week.

Data from National Records of Scotland (NRS) shows that as of September 12, there have been 10,688 deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Figures published on Wednesday also showed Scotland has recorded 30 coronavirus-linked deaths in the 24 hours to Wednesday.

Twelve of those who died in the week of September 6-12 were under 65, while 13 were aged 65-74 and 51 were over 75, according to NRS data.

Glasgow City Council and North Lanarkshire had eight deaths each in that period, with seven deaths in South Lanarkshire, six deaths in Dundee City, and five deaths in the City of Edinburgh.

Sixty-two people died in hospital, six in a care home and eight at home or in a place that was not an institution.

The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

Pete Whitehouse, NRS director of statistical services, said: “Today’s NRS figures show that there were 76 deaths in Scotland last week where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, an increase of 18 deaths on the previous week.”

“Between March 2020 and August 2021, 93 per cent of people who died with Covid had at least one pre-existing condition, the most common condition being dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.”

The figures showed that of the 10,609 deaths involving Covid-19 between March 2020 and August 2021, more than nine out of 10 (93 per cent) had at least one pre-existing condition.

However, younger people dying with Covid-19 between March 2020 and August this year were more likely to have no pre-existing conditions.

In the 65 and over age group, 6 per cent of people dying with Covid-19 had no pre-existing conditions, the same for both men and women.

Among the under-65s, 12 per cent of females and 15 per cent of males who died with Covid-19 had no pre-existing conditions.

In the period from March 2020 to August 2021, there were 15 deaths where post Covid-19 conditions, including long Covid, were mentioned on the death certificate.

Scotland has recorded 30 coronavirus-linked deaths and 4,917 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to latest figures.

The data published by the Scottish Government on Wednesday indicates the death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is 8,293.

The daily test positivity rate was 9.2 per cent, down from 11.4 per cent the previous day.

There were 1,079 people in hospital on Tuesday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up 15 on the day before, with 91 in intensive care, up two.

So far, 4,146,847 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,791,597 have received a second dose.