Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella said only 13 percent of the Pfizer vaccines imported to the country to immunize against Corona had been used and the rest was destroyed after their expiry dates.
He said the misconception that immunizing against Covid when the pandemic was under control would cause other ailments due to side effects distanced the people from the immunizing programme and it had resulted in the wastage of a large stock of vaccines.
Although the government in consultation with the World Health Organisation looked into the possibility of donating the balance stock of vaccines before their expiry dates to friendly countries, they had refused it for want of storage facilities.
The Minister pointed out that there was no alternative but to destroy the validity expired vaccines, and that it has been the practice to destroy outdated drugs. He said it was not possible to totally prevent it but an effective mechanism should be worked out to reduce it to the barest minimum.