The Ministry of Public Health in Paraguay has estimated around 100,000 doses expired last month. Dr Hernán Martínez, vice-minister of health, said the unopened vials would be removed from the fridge and destroyed.
Dr Héctor Castro, director of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation, explained at the start of the month there were around half a million doses that needed to be administered and the take-up was around 15,000 per day.
He said: “We had 500,000 doses when we started to talk about the next expiration date, several strategies were established that led to an average administration of 15,000 per day, so that several health regions no longer have any dose with this expiration at the end of the month of November, but there are others that still have it.”
Dr Castro warned the country may not have enough supplies to last by the end of 2021.
He added: “It is important that the population has access to vaccination to reach the goal of 80 percent immunisation.
One of the creators of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab warned another pandemic will threaten human lives and could be “more contagious” and “more lethal”.
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, delivered the 44th prestigious Richard Dimbleby Lecture, and said the scientific advances made in research against fighting deadly viruses “must not be lost”.
Dame Sarah said: “This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives and our livelihoods.
“The truth is, the next one could be worse. It could be more contagious, or more lethal, or both.”
She added: “We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through all we have gone through, and then find that the enormous economic losses we have sustained mean that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness.
“The advances we have made, and the knowledge we have gained, must not be lost.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega