Vaccine Stock Expires Less Than One Percent – The Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) responded to criticism related to vaccine stocks which were called expired. What did he say?

According to the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi, the stock of the COVID-19 vaccine which expires at the end of February 2022 is less than one percent of the total stock.

“From our initial prediction of 18 million doses that have the potential to expire, not all of them have expired. The number is still less than one percent and is still within the wastage rate limit,” he said in Jakarta.

According to information published on the official website of the Ministry of Health, the wastage rate includes leftover, unused, damaged, and lost vaccines as well as vaccines that are used as buffer stocks to overcome supply shortages, meet emergency needs, and relocation between regions.

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illustration of Covid-19 vaccination. [Envato]
illustration of Covid-19 vaccination. [Envato]

Nadia said that the area where the vaccine stock was partially expired was Lampung. More than 170,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s stockpile of COVID-19 vaccine in the province expired at the end of February 2022.

According to Nadia, the expired vaccine stock is a COVID-19 vaccine with a short term of grant from a friendly country.

He said that regions that are late in using vaccine stocks so that some of their vaccine stocks expire are not subject to sanctions.

According to him, the Ministry of Health regularly reminds stakeholders in the regions to improve the governance of the use of COVID-19 vaccines.

“If there are no sanctions, we remind them to improve governance so that they can immediately use the vaccines that will expire first,” he said.

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The regional government, according to him, must check the expiration date of each supply of COVID-19 vaccine received and regulate its use so that not a lot of vaccine stock expires before being used.