The European Union has thrown away at least 215 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines worth around 4 billion euros ($4.37 billion) to European taxpayers, media reported on Monday.
The vaccines were purchased at the height of the pandemic in 2021, the newspaper reported. In total, EU countries received 1.5 billion vaccines, many of which ended up in landfills across the continent.
At the same time, attempts to transfer surpluses to third countries have been thwarted by falling demand and logistical problems, media said.
In May, the World Health Organization (WHO) lifted the public health emergency designation for COVID-19. As of December 13, WHO had recorded nearly 7 million COVID-related deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic.