> The U.K. stockpiled 650 million doses of COVID-19 injections during the pandemic, but only 142 million have been used
> The remainder expire six to 12 months after their date of manufacture, which means millions of doses are going to end up as trash; about $5 billion stands to be wasted on unused shots in the U.K.
> The U.K. government has also written off billions of dollars in money spent on protective equipment and ventilators that went unused
> The overuse of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to another problem — a massive volume of medical trash that’s straining waste management systems and the environment
> According to WHO, 87,000 tons of PPE were accumulated from March 2020 to November 2021 in order to fight COVID-19, but most of it has gone to waste
The U.K. stockpiled 650 million doses of COVID-19 injections during the pandemic. Only 142 million have been used. The remainder expire six to 12 months after their date of manufacture,1 which means millions of doses are going to end up as trash.
It’s unknown whether some doses from the 650 million figure have yet to be manufactured, or exactly how much was paid for each dose, but what’s clear is that a massive waste of federal funds is imminent.
Based on estimates that the U.S. government paid about $20 for each dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, about $15 for Moderna shot doses and about $4 for each dose of Astra Zeneca’s shot, assume an average price of $10 per dose of COVID-19 injection purchased.
Given this estimate, about $5 billion stands to be wasted on unused shots. “Will the public be forgiving of this massive waste of public funds on account of it occurring with good intentions during a state of emergency?” Daily Sceptic asked. “That remains to be seen.”2
Billions of Dollars Squandered in the Name of COVID-19
In addition to millions of doses of COVID-19 shots set to expire, the U.K. government has also written off billions of dollars in money spent on protective equipment, including items not used before their expiration dates and other equipment deemed unsuitable for use. Another $715.9 million was spent on ventilators, only 10% of which were actually used.
Similar ventilator stockpiling occurred in the U.S. but as early as August 2020 it was clear that this was a mistake. “The U.S. has too many ventilators,” The Washington Post wrote on August 18, 20203 — an about-face from media headlines posted just months earlier, which talked of ventilator shortages and a “desperate need for ventilators.”4,5
At the time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had distributed 15,057 ventilators, while 95,713 sat unused in a federal stockpile. For comparison, 10,000 ventilators made up the federal stockpile in April 2020.6 By September 2020, HHS stated that the national ventilator stockpile had reached maximum capacity, with close to 120,000 available ventilators.7 As the Daily Sceptic explained:8
“This gross misuse of taxpayers’ money must be examined in the independent inquiry and by Government so the lessons can be learned and in future a robust management system applied in real time so that even stocks purchased in haste and with urgency are kept in reasonable proportion to anticipated demand.
The over-reaction and panic in spring 2020 resulted in decisions that have now turned out to be a huge waste of public money. If there was perceived to be a shortage of anything that might conceivably be needed to fulfil the needs of the public emergency, the public purse was always open.
Actually, the purse appeared to be treated more like Mary Poppins’ bottomless magic carpet bag, with no sign of any prudent oversight applied to funding decisions as long as they served the purpose of proving to the public that the Government was ‘doing something’ about Covid. The results of that fiscal incontinence are now clear for all to see.”
Millions of COVID-19 Shots Wasted in US
The money wasted stockpiling COVID-19 shots is not unique to the U.K. In the U.S., an ABC News investigation found that millions of shots have gone unused as the demand for the injections fizzled out. In speaking with health department officials in all 50 states, they found millions of instances of COVID-19 shots going to waste, sitting unused or set to expire in coming weeks. This includes:9
1.7 million doses wasted in Michigan since December 2020
619,000 doses unused in Colorado
3.6 million shots sitting in a stockpile in California
Close to 760,000 doses deemed nonviable, spoiled or expired in Oregon
More than 850,000 doses wasted in Wisconsin10
‘Sleeping Contracts’ Ensured Past Pandemic Vaccine Purchases
It’s said that history repeats itself, and we’ve seen massive waste from stockpiled vaccines before. Pandemics have been coming and going around the globe for centuries, but in recent history they’ve been used as points of manipulation that have profited corporations, particularly pharmaceutical companies.
In 2005, you may remember, it was predicted the bird flu epidemic would kill from 2 million to 150 million people,11 but turned out to be a whole lot of hot air, and prompted me to write the book “The Great Bird Flu Hoax.”
At the time, Nature Immunology published an editorial stating that the fear of bird flu had prompted government officials to prioritize developing plans to deal with pandemic influenza, and WHO had named bird flu as the No. 1 health concern.
In the years that followed, WHO executed agreements — so called “sleeping contracts” — with European and African nations in the name of protecting people from a future global pandemic.
The contracts stated that countries would buy vaccines in the event of a pandemic, but this would only be necessary if WHO declared a phase 6 influenza pandemic.12 Both GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Baxter were named in contracts with the U.K. parliament, for instance, which stated the pharmaceutical companies would supply a pandemic influenza vaccine to the U.K. and were valued at £155.4 million (more than $206 million) over four years.13