The Ministry of Health explains that these vaccines were destroyed in view of the expiry date of the batches acquired at the European level, from December 2020 (starting month of the vaccination campaign) until 30 November 2022.

“By the end of the year, it is expected that 1.3 million doses of additional vaccines will reach their expiry date”, says a statement.

According to the Ministry of Health, Portugal has one of the lowest rates of disuse in Europe, as a result of the combination of the “great adherence” of the Portuguese to vaccination and “an effective and responsible” management of the supply of vaccines.

In order to optimise the doses of vaccines available, Portugal has since 2021, been reselling and donating vaccines, “in a solidary commitment to promote the reduction of asymmetries in global accessibility to vaccines against Covid-19”.

“To date, around 8 million vaccines have been donated and more than 2.5 million doses have been sold”, stresses the ministry, adding that the national authority for the drug (Infarmed) is monitoring studies that may lead to an extension of the deadline for the validity of batches of vaccines, within the scope of the efficient management plan for vaccines depending on the supply cadence and period of validity of the different batches.

According to the Government, this determination depends on the evidence generated by the laboratories and subsequent authorization by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).